Right-wing Protesters Attack Arabs During Demo Against Teen's Death in Police Chase

About 1,000 protesters against the death of Ahuvia Sandak, 16, who died in a car chase with police after being suspected of throwing stones at Palestinians, gathered outside National Police Headquarters in Jerusalem

Aaron Rabinowitz
Aaron Rabinowitz
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Protesters and police next to National Police Headquarters in Jerusalem, December 26, 2020.
Protesters and police next to National Police Headquarters in Jerusalem, December 26, 2020.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Aaron Rabinowitz
Aaron Rabinowitz

About 1,000 protesters gathered outside National Police Headquarters in Jerusalem Saturday night, demonstrating against the killing of Ahuvia Sandak, who died when the car he was in flipped during a West Bank car chase with police.

Protesters blocked off the road, and some of them attacked a car with Arab passengers; others threw stones at police officers. Eleven officers were lightly injured, and 21 protesters were arrested.

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Police at the scene were also filmed taking and moving the baby of a couple who were protesting, which was left near a crowd dispersal vehicle, to another location. According to the police, a protester stood next to the baby's stroller, across from the crowd dispersal vehicle, and did not respond to calls from police to move. Police also said that after the protester refused to move a number of times, he was arrested and the baby was handed over to the mother, who was waiting at the location.

A police officer moves the baby carriage

Sandak, 16, a resident of Bat Ayin in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, was killed Monday after police chased after him and his friends, who were suspected of throwing stones at Palestinians in the West Bank. Officers crashed into their car from behind, causing it to flip, fatally injuring Sandak and lightly to moderately injuring his friends. Protests have been held at police headquarters since his death, drawing hundreds to the site.

Protesters chanted "A Jew does not kill a Jew" and "God will avenge his blood," and demanded a committee be established to investigate Sandak's death. At one point during the demonstration, protesters attacked a car in which four Arab passengers were sitting – two women, a man and a baby – and tried to open it. The demonstrators cried "Death to Arabs," and knocked on the car. The car eventually accelerated, lightly hitting a police officer and a protester, and continued on its way.

Protesters attack an Arab family in a car

The protest had prior police approval, and after an hour or so, 200 to 300 people began blocking off light rail traffic in the area, and clashes broke out between protesters and police. A police statement read: "A demonstration is being held near national headquarters, in which hundreds of protesters are disturbing the public order while blocking traffic and throwing stones against police forces, causing injury to two officers. Following this protest, traffic near the national headquarters was blocked off. The Israel Police is acting to restore order there through various means."

Mass protests were also held at the site on Thursday, in which 37 protesters were arrested. Police said the protesters "disturbed the public order and clashed with police and passersby, and in a number of cases threw stones and eggs at police, damaged infrastructure and blocked light rail traffic."

Haaretz reported Wednesday that according to law enforcement officials, the chief of the Justice Ministry unit investigating police misconduct, Keren Bar-Menachem, has refused to investigate the officers involved in the chase. She argued that Sandak’s friends remained silent during their interrogations and therefore there was no one to file a complaint against the officers.

Protesters hold up signs bearing the face of Ahuvia Sandak in Jerusalem, December 26, 2020.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

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