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Police brutality reported at protest

Updated: Jan 31

See here for a list of posts connected to the Ahuvia Sandak, z”l, case.

Ahuvia Sandak, z"l; Photo courtesy of the family

Sunday, January 3, 2021, 15:28 Participants in last night’s demonstration (after Shabbat) opposite the Police Investigation Unit Headquarters in Jerusalem protesting the cover-up of Ahuvia Sandak’s death reported police brutality during the dispersion of the demonstration. Eyewitnesses reported that after several youths blocked a street at the end of the demonstration, the police operated a water cannon with “the skunk”, and sprayed high-pressure streams of water indiscriminately in all directions. Everyone present, adults, children, and families who were returning to the buses, was hit hard by barrages of water for no reason. “The skunk” is a non-lethal, foul-smelling liquid used as a means of crowd control during protests. Six buses were badly damaged by the water cannon. The bus company owner described the incident: “We parked in the lot which the police authorized for us and after the protest was already over and [the participants] had started to return to the buses – adults with babies and small children – a truck with ‘the skunk’ arrived. First of all, the driver was driving like crazy, on the sidewalk, in order to spray everyone, and he sprayed our buses too, when some of the people were already inside. The force of the stream bent several street signs. Our buses were damaged and we still haven’t succeeded in removing the stench.” Several thousand protesters from throughout Israel participated in the demonstration. The crowds called for the closing of the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police and for an external investigation, to prevent a cover-up, of Ahuvia’s death. Among the public figures who spoke were Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi David Fendel, Rabbi Amichai Eliyahu, Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, and Knesset Member Yitzhak Pindrus. Avraham Sandak, Ahuvia’s father, also spoke and called for a genuine investigation: “We call for the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police to be closed so that incidents such as this will not be repeated and policemen will not take the law into their own hands.” Additional demonstrations were held throughout Israel with thousands of participants in various locations, among them Bat Yam, Ma’aleh Adumim, Eilat, Nahariya, Be’er Sheva, and Halukim Junction. 21:52 Protests continue two weeks after Ahuvia’s death Among other locations throughout Israel, protests are currently being held in Tel Aviv, Kiryat Malachi and Ma’aleh Adumim and at Yitzhar Junction and Kedumim Junction, with the participation of hundreds of demonstrators. In all locations, the demonstrators are calling for an external investigative committee to investigate the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police and for there not to be a cover-up of Ahuvia’s death. At the String Bridge in Jerusalem approximately 100 activists and friends of Ahuvia are protesting. The protesters are intermittently blocking the entrance to Jerusalem. Policemen on the scene are clearing the protesters to the sidewalk. Dozens of people are protesting at Shilo Junction. A 14-year-old minor has been detained and is being assisted by a Honenu Attorney.

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