Israel Police Suspect Palestinian Construction Worker Was Pushed to His Death

Death of 17-year-old from fall at Tel Aviv site was first treated as an accident, but after questioning of other workers suspicions arise that he may have been shoved.

A Tel Aviv building site.
Ofer Vaknin

The police are investigating whether the death of a Palestinian worker at a construction site in Tel Aviv resulted from being pushed by another worker rather than a work accident, as was first thought.

Last Tuesday the Magen David Adom emergency services reported that a worker had fallen from a height of about eight meters at a construction site on Carlebach Street in Tel Aviv. Paramedics administered first aid and evacuated him to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital. The worker was about 17 years old, and was evacuated in serious and unstable condition, with multisystemic injuries, and was anaesthetized and put on a respirator. He died later in the hospital.

Police who arrived at the site first treated the incident as a work accident. But as they began to question the people who were present, the possibility arose that the worker had been pushed from the building deliberately.

The police took testimony, which indicated that prior to the fall there was a quarrel between the victim and another worker, a resident of the Bedouin diaspora, and apparently the quarrel led to mutual shoving.

“During the course of the investigation a suspicion arose that this may be a criminal incident and that the victim was pushed,” said the police on Monday. “Yesterday, as a result of a number of investigative activities, a 19-year-old suspect who lives in the south was detained on suspicion of involvement in the incident.”

The suspect will be brought to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court for an extension of his detention. At this point the police are accusing the suspect of manslaughter and neglect for not trying to prevent the victim’s fall.