Protesters Flip Over Police Car, Throw Stones in Jerusalem Protest Over Settler’s Death in Car Chase

Hagar Shezaf
Hagar Shezaf
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A police car flipped over by protesters during a demonstration over settler teen's death in police chase, Jerusalem, January 2, 2021.
A police car flipped over by protesters during a demonstration over settler teen's death in police chase, Jerusalem, January 2, 2021.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Hagar Shezaf
Hagar Shezaf

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Jerusalem on Saturday, in the wake of the death of an Israeli teen suspected of throwing stones at Palestinians during a car chase with police in the West Bank.

Demonstrators have gathered near the Justice Ministry's unit investigating police misconduct, and some clashed with police forces there. Police reported some of them hurled stones at the forces, causing injuries to seven officers.

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Protesters have called police "murderers," blocked a road near the Justice Ministry building and, according to police, slashed the tires of a police car and vandalized another.

14 protesters were detained.

Demonstrators are demanding the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the circumstances of Ahuvia Sandak's death, and the closure of the Shai District Police in the West Bank, the police unit tasked with investigated nationalist crimes perpetuated by the so-called hilltop youth in the West Bank.

According to social media posts, shuttles headed out to Saturday's demonstration from at least ten settlements and other communities within the Green Line.

At Saturday night's demonstration against the killing of Ahuvia Sandak, protesters hold up signs bearing his image, Jerusalem, January 2, 2021.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Sandak, 16, a resident of Bat Ayin in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, was killed in a car chase with the police after he and his friends were suspected of throwing stones at Palestinians in the West Bank last Monday. Officers crashed into their car from behind, causing it to flip, fatally injuring Sandak and lightly to moderately injuring his friends.

Protesters have demonstrated on a daily basis since Sandak's death near police headquarters in Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank. Some of the demonstrations have been peaceful, but others have turned violent. The protesters, who blame the police for Sandak’s death, have attacked officers and thrown stones at Palestinians. 

During a demonstration in Jerusalem on Thursday night, about 20 demonstrators were arrested. Police said participants hurled stones and eggs at officers and vandalized vehicles, including buses and police cars. Over the course of the night, ultra-Orthodox men were filmed attacking a car with an Arab driver and passengers, opening the door and attempting to beat the passengers.

The two police officers involved in the car chase that ended in the fatal accident are under a high level of threat and have been assigned protection, police said last Sunday. Under questioning, they said Sandak was left trapped under the car for at least 10 minutes because his detained friends refused to tell them if anyone else had been in the car. 

A joint team of the Tel Aviv District Police Central Unit and the Justice Ministry unit to investigate police misconduct is continuing to examine the incident in which Sandak was killed.

Protesters demonstrate the killing of Israeli teen Ahuvia Sandak near the national police headquarters in Jerusalem, January 2, 2021.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Police, meanwhile, are investigating the four young people who were in the car with Sandak during the chase, and the Justice Ministry unit is questioning the four police officers who were in the police vehicle.

The four other passengers in Sandak's car, two adults and two minors, are suspected of causing the teen's death by negligence and other crimes. Two of them are suspected of reckless homicide, due to a suspicion that they tried to flee the scene of the accident while Sandak was still trapped under the car.

The maximum penalty for reckless homicide is 12 years in prison. Leaving the scene of an accident carried a maximum prison term of nine years.

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