A court on Sunday sentenced a bus driver to 15 months in prison for a fatal accident in 2019 in which an 18-year-old recruit was killed during a trial training session with the Israel Defense Forces paratrooper brigade.
On April 11, 2019, Ron Oved was killed and five others were injured when a bus drove into his tent during tryouts. The bus was parked on the slope above the tents where the recruits were sleeping, in clear violation of IDF regulations.
The bus driver, Ibrahim Abu Kaf, was charged with manslaughter and was sentenced Sunday to 15 months in prison and had his driver’s license suspended for 10 years after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.
According to Abu Kaf’s statement, he left the bus unattended for a short while without activating the brakes.
The judgment was handed down by the Ashdod Traffic District Court.
Ron’s father, Motio Verde, criticized the sentence and condemned a “worthless justice system”.
“It’s hard for me to understand why the judge dragged himself on for four years to come to such a worthless plea deal. It’s a confession driver; you don’t need to dig deep to understand what happened,” he told Kan PBS .
The military’s initial investigation, completed within two months, blamed Ovid’s death directly on the bus driver and the company that hired him, arguing the incident was a car accident rather than a training accident. No one in the military was punished for the incident.
The military police conducted their own investigation into Ovid’s death and found that the initial investigation was woefully inadequate, failing to examine larger issues of how the paratroop brigade tried out recruits and how safety protocols were conspicuously ignored.
In light of the military police investigation and reports in Haaretz around the same time, which included claims by Oved’s family that the military had failed to adequately investigate the case, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi ordered an additional investigation into the incident itself and the way it was examined .
The final investigation found that the first investigation was “inadequate and did not expose all of the vulnerabilities,” Kohavi said last year. Two brigadier generals were formally reprimanded and a third was summoned for a disciplinary hearing.