23 of the Fourth Month 5769
Famous Case Ends: Shai Dromi Acquitted of Manslaughter
Hillel Fendel, 23 Tammuz 5769/July 15, 2009
(IsraelNN.com) Shai Dromi, a Negev farmer who shot and killed a Bedouin thief in January 2007, has been acquitted of manslaughter charges.
The ruling was handed down Wednesday morning in the Be’er Sheva District Court by a majority vote. He was convicted, however, on charges of illegal possession of weapons...
...At his trial, Dromi, who had had a horse and tractor stolen and several dogs killed in the few months prior to the incident, testified as follows: “I awoke at 3 AM to the barking of the guard dog that I acquired after my dogs were poisoned. Even though I was incredibly tired, I got out of bed and walked around the house. After I went back to bed, I again heard the dog barking irregularly. I went out with my weapon and didn’t see anything. I kept walking around [the perimeter of my] sheep pen, and noticed large metal wire-cutters. I panicked. I realized there were men around me."
“I heard a crash from the direction of the sheep pen. I saw four men in front of me all of a sudden. I called out to them and tried to shoot in the air, but my gun did not fire. They yelled something at me, I didn’t understand what. I felt them closing in on me. I tried to see what was wrong with my weapon and then the bullet fired… One of the four was holding a large knife or pruning shears over his head. After the first shot, I fired five more shots at the lower parts of their bodies. My life was in danger and I shot in order to chase them away.”
Dromi was kept in prison for a month immediately following the incident, and was prevented from returning to his farm for a long while after wards.
What would you have done?
The good news is that Dromi was released. The bad news is that, in some cases, the prosecution in Israel has the right to appeal the decision to a higher court. (I do not know if this case falls into this category.)
Do not expect that this will be the last case in which a Jew is accused of manslaughter or even of murder, when he was acting in self-defense. It certainly was not the first.
Look for such cases to start popping up among residents of Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria).
Police-Arab collaborative set-ups, and subsequent arrests will be (already is!*) one of the strategies employed to remove residents from their homes, easing the way for expulsions.
In the meantime, I would like to wish Shai Dromi and his family well.
Unfortunately, you should not expect to see him receive any compensation for his losses of time, money, and property.
*This strategy has been used to remove or detain Jews in Ma'oz Esther near Kokhav HaShahar and in Adei Ad near Shilo.