Cops won’t be prosecuted for planting gun in Arab man’s home for docuseries

‘Jerusalem District’ was pulled from air after 2018 incident; investigation acknowledges it occurred, but determines cops had no criminal intent

The logo for Kan docudrama TV series 'Jerusalem District.' (Screenshot: YouTube)
The logo for Kan docudrama TV series 'Jerusalem District.' (Screenshot: YouTube)

Police officers who planted a rifle in the home of an East Jerusalem resident only to “find” it during the filming of a television docudrama will not face criminal charges, the Justice Ministry unit that investigates cops announced on Tuesday.

In one episode of the reality cop show “Jerusalem District,” police claimed to have discovered an M-16 in the basement of a Palestinian resident of Issawiya in East Jerusalem. A report by the Haaretz daily later alleged that police had planted the weapon in the house of Samer Sleiman before pretending to “uncover” it during the search.

In a statement, the PIID did not deny that police faked the discovery of weapons; but according to PIID chief Keren Bar Menachem, the police had no criminal intent in their actions and did not attempt to falsify formal charges against the East Jerusalem resident.

Samer Sleiman, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, arrives at the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department in Jerusalem on August 7, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The matter will be transferred to “the relevant authorities” within the police, who could discipline the officers internally, a statement on the closing of the investigation said.

After the November 2018 incident was revealed by the Haaretz daily, and other examples of similar problematic conduct in other episodes of the show were discovered, police issued an apology and the Kan broadcaster removed the show from its online streaming platform.

Sleiman, who said he was recognized by neighbors despite his face being blurred, subsequently filed a formal police complaint.

The idea of planting a weapon was raised by a member of the show’s production crew after officers failed to find anything when they searched the house. The suggestion was then approved by the senior policeman present.

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