Over twelve months since the incident, the Israeli policeman who attacked peaceful protesters in May, 2018, has been charged with causing serious bodily harm to Mossawa Director Jafar Farah at a peaceful protest against killings in Gaza in May 2018, in addition to assaulting seven others. Farah was arrested alongside his 18-year old son, denied medical attention and forcibly detained for over 24 hours. Hatam, who ordered a strip-search of Farah with no legal basis, shattered Farah’s knee whilst in detention, and has since denied the claims against him.
Police also verbally harassed staff at the hospital and handcuffed Farah to his hospital bed.
Farah welcomed the development, stating that the charges “have exposed the culture of violence and lies that is prevalent among the police” and calling for the resignation of officers involved. He went on to denounce the Haifa Police Chief Amir Goldstein for his attempts to cover up the events.
The case is part of a wider trend of police brutality and incitement against Arab citizens of Israel, and other minority communities, which often goes unchecked. With a history of inciting violence towards Palestinians online, Hatam’s actions are symptomatic of a larger problem surrounding discrimination and hatred towards the Arab community, resulting in violence and discrimination. While the charges against Hatam are a step in the right direction, much progress remains to be made in regards to accountability and justice for victims of police violence in the Arab community.