Israeli Teen Charged in Killing of Man Ran Over by Arab Driver Escaping Attack

Itamar Ben Abu, 47, was killed while crossing the road after Ibrahim Hamad attempted to flee violent attack by group of teenagers

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A suspect in the attack on Ibrahim Hamad in custody in Jerusalem, last month.
A suspect in the attack on Ibrahim Hamad in custody in Jerusalem, last month.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

A 17-year-old boy is being charged with causing the death of 47-year-old Itamar Ben Abu, who was run over by a van driver trying to escape an attack in Jerusalem last month.

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According to the indictment filed Sunday against the minor, he was part of a group that attacked the driver, Ibrahim Hamad of East Jerusalem. The prosecution is seeking to extend the suspect’s detention until the end of legal proceedings.

During the incident, which took place on February 28 in the ultra-Orthodox Mea She’arim neighborhood, Hamad's van was pelted with stones, his side-view mirrors were pulled off and his windows were damaged. According to the charge sheet, the minor threw stones, broke one of the vehicle’s windows and opened the door of the vehicle to try to enter it as others yelled, “Arab, Arab” and “We’ll kill him.”

As Hamad tried to maneuver to escape the rioters, he hit Ben Abu, who was crossing the street. He was arrested after the riot on suspicion of reckless homicide, but was released the following day.

The minor was charged in Jerusalem District Court with causing death by negligence, participating in a riot, throwing stones at a vehicle and other violations. Eleven others were also arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack on Hamad, and last week three of them were indicted.

According to the charge sheet, the minor was part of a group of rioters who had attacked several vehicles that day.