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Ahuvya Sandak’s death: About 2,000 demonstrate in Jerusalem

About 2,000 people demonstrated tonight in front of the national headquarters and the Internal Security Ministry in Jerusalem in protest of the killing of the late Ahuvya Sandak by police during a chase in Binyamin.

The demonstrators call on Minister Amir Ohana to establish an external commission of inquiry to investigate the conduct of the Judea/Samaria District Police.

The father of Ori Ansbacher, who was murdered in the Jerusalem forest, joined the call and came to the demonstration. At this time, near the demonstration, protesters have begun to block the road.

Water cannons began operating at the scene and also sprayed hundreds of protesters.

Hundreds of right-wing protesters clashed with cops in Jerusalem Saturday evening, over the death of a young settler in a car crash while fleeing police after allegedly throwing stones at Palestinians.

The demonstrators rioted outside the national police headquarters, blocking roads and the light rail tracks, according to a police statement, which said protesters also hurled rocks at officers, 11 of whom were injured.

Police said rocks were also thrown at a car, whose passengers the Haaretz daily identified as Arab, as well as at passersby. The police headquarters is located in East Jerusalem, near several Palestinian neighborhoods.

“The police forces acted against rock-throwing toward them and at passing civilians,” a police statement said. “The officers succeeded in catching three rock throwers ‘red-handed’ and they were taken for questioning.”

Twenty-one protesters in all were arrested on suspicion of violating public order.

Video from the scene showed a police water cannon firing toward demonstrators in an effort to disperse them, with Channel 12 news reporting that two young children were struck by the water blast. They were not said to have been injured.

One clip showed officers pushing away a stroller with a child of one of the protesters, as angry demonstrators crowded around them.

Police said the toddler’s father stood with the stroller in front of the water cannon and was arrested after ignoring orders to move,

“The baby was handed over to his mother who was at the scene,” according to a police statement.

Jerusalem police officers were recorded brutally beating right-wing activists protesting death of 16-year-old Bat Ayin resident Ahuvya Sandak.

The Department of Internal Police Investigations at the State Attorney’s Office (DIPI) has opened an investigation into the accident in Binyamin in which Ahuvia Sandak was killed after the vehicle he was traveling in overturned during a police chase.

Four police officers were questioned Thursday under caution and testimonies were collected from other police officers.

Immediately after the incident, DIPI investigators arrived at the scene of the incident, and since then they have been carrying out the investigative actions necessary to examine the role the police officers played n the incident.

The State Attorney’s Office notes that “the entire incident, with all the suspicions that arise in it towards the suspected civilians, including their part in causing the death of the deceased, was investigated by the Israel Police.”

In view of the interfaces between the investigations, with regard to the stage of the accident and the overturning of the vehicle, the Deputy State Attorney for Criminal Affairs decided to establish a joint investigation team between the DIPI and Tel Aviv Police, but the suspicions against the police are being investigated by the DIPI.

The decision to investigate the incident as a whole as part of a joint investigation team stemmed from the reasons for advancing the investigation and streamlining it, since there are aspects of the incident in which civilians and police officers are under suspicion, and it is necessary to exhaust both directions and the events cannot be artificially separated.

“In the circumstances of the case, it is not possible to wait until the end and completion of one of the investigations to exhaust the other investigation, since the evidentiary infrastructure is the same and the matters are interrelated,” the prosecutor’s office added.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina) responded to the State Attorney’s Office’s announcement: “This is an illusory announcement that indicates whitewashing is going on. This is a fraud. The interrogation of the four young men on suspicion of involvement in causing the death of Ahuvya pollutes the DIPI interrogation and turns it into an ‘Israbluff.'”

The Deputy State Attorney instructed that as part of the investigation of the special team, a clear priority will be given to the investigative actions required by the DIP for the purpose of investigating the suspicions against the police officers.

The investigation material collected so far indicates that the incident began on suspicion that a number of suspects threw stones at Arabs on a road near Michmash junction. After noticing a police car, the suspects began to flee.

During a police chase, at some point, contact was made between the police vehicle and the vehicle of the suspects. The suspects’ vehicle overturned and Ahuvya Sandak was killed and four other passengers were injured.

The vehicle carrying Sandak and four other so-called hilltop youth flipped over near the Michmash Junction in the West Bank Monday, killing him and injuring the others. The suspected stone-throwers were apprehended and taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in Jerusalem with light to moderate injuries. Sandak was from the southern West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin.

Police said following the accident that officers signaled for the vehicle to halt after catching the young men hurling rocks at passing Palestinian vehicles. The suspects refused and sought to flee the scene, then lost control of their vehicle, which rolled over on the side of the road.

According to Honenu, a legal aid group that often represents far-right settlers, the police car “hit [the settlers’] vehicle with force from behind, and the force of the impact caused their car to run off the road.”

Sandak was trapped under the car and it took roughly 40 minutes to pull him out, the group said.

According to Army Radio, though, the other passengers in the car assumed that Sandak had fled the scene, not knowing that he remained trapped under the vehicle. They also refused to cooperate with police at the scene, wasting time that could have been used to save the victim.

Police questioned the other passengers in the car on Wednesday on suspicion of negligent manslaughter, according to Hebrew media reports. They were also being investigated over the alleged stone-throwing incident that led to the chase.

At the same time as the probe of the four, who were all lightly-to-moderately injured in the crash, the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department was questioning the officers involved in the incident.

The deadly car crash came hours after an Israeli woman, Esther Horgen, was found dead in a northern West Bank forest where she had gone for a run a day earlier, apparently after she was killed violently.

Security forces arrested a Palestinian man Thursday suspected in Horgen’s murder, as well as several suspected accomplices.

Source: Arutz Sheva and TOI