April 25 (UPI) — An Israeli border police officer was sentenced to nine months in prison Wednesday for shooting a Palestinian teenager to death during a protest.
Judge Daniel Teperberg found officer Ben Deri guilty of causing death by negligence by firing live ammunition instead of rubber bullets at 17-year-old Nadeem Nawara when ordered to disperse a crowd of protestors during a Nakba Day demonstration on May 15, 2014, in the West Bank village of Beitunia.
In addition to serving nine months in prison he was ordered to pay a $14,000 fine to Nawara’s family for damages.
“Against protocol and despite the deceased not representing a threat to the unit, the defendant aimed his weapon at the center mass of the deceased’s body and fired at him with the intent to harm,” the court ruled.
According to the court’s ruling, Deri’s decision to fire the live rounds into the crowd required two acts of negligence.
“The defendant did not check that his magazine contained only blanks and did not load a rubber bullet into the Roma as required. These two oversights, which amount to gross negligence, caused the death of the deceased,” the court said.
Deri was initially charged with manslaughter, but the charged was reduced as part of a plea deal in which he admitted to accidentally using the live rounds.
Prosecutors requested Deri be sentenced to 20 to 27 months in prison, but Tepperberg said the nine-month sentence was a balance of his record as a border police men and the order he received to quell a riot. The court also decided to count two months Deri has already spent in jail as served time.
Deri’s lawyer, Zion Amir, said he was pleased the sentenced was lessened, but added he would appeal the sentencing in hopes of reducing it further.