Settlers and Police Clash After Stone-throwing Suspect Dies in Police Chase Accident

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Israeli settlers at the scene of the deadly accident in the West Bank, December 21, 2020.
Israeli settlers at the scene of the deadly accident in the West Bank, December 21, 2020.Credit: Emil Salman

An Israeli teen suspected of throwing stones at Palestinians died Monday in an accident during a car chase with the police. Four other suspects who were in the car were injured lightly and moderately and taken to a Jerusalem hospital.

The deadly accident led to protests in Jerusalem later on Monday, with dozens of settlers, including friends of deceased 16-year-old Ahuvia Sandak, demonstrating in front of the police headquarters in Jerusalem. Some of them tried to break into the compound, and police said at least 50 were detained during clashes with police.

Ahuvia Sandak. Credit: Courtesy of the family

The Justice Ministry unit that probes police misconduct is investigating the incident on a West Bank road.

Shlomo Ne'eman, the head of the regional council where Sandak lived, in the settlement of Bat Ayin, said, "Our demand is an immediate end to police violence. Leave it to us to educate and deal with our children."

Police forces were called to a West Bank junction north of Jerusalem after receiving reports of stone-throwing from Israeli cars toward Palestinian cars, according to a police statement. The suspects drove away "wildly" upon noticing police forces, and a car chase ensued, the statement said.

The scene of the accident in the West Bank, December 21, 2020.

The suspects' attorney from the right-wing Honenu nonprofit, which provides legal aid to Jews suspected of terror, claimed that the police car bumped into them, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and steer into the opposite lane.

One suspect said the police officers handcuffed them immediately after the accident and only released them when paramedics arrived at the scene. The attorney said police detectives were posted next to the suspects in the hospital. 

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