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Public figures react to AG's decision in Sandak case

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

Honenu is representing those who are insisting on the investigation of the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l, who was tragically killed in a police car chase on Tevet 6 5781/ December 21, 2020, and defending the many who are being detained while demonstrating for change in police behavior. The car Ahuvia was in with four other boys overturned when the police car collided with it from behind. Please click here for a list of posts connected to the case.

Thursday, January 27, 2022, 19:18 After the decision by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to close the investigative case against the Yehuda and Shomron Policemen who caused the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z"l, members of Knesset from all shades of the political spectrum and other public figures strongly reacted. They censured the Attorney General and the Police Investigation Unit (PIU) for their conduct in investigating the incident. All translations from the Hebrew original are by Honenu.

MK Galit Distel Atbaryan (Likud) stated: "Closing the Ahuvia Sandak, z"l, case symbolizes more than anything else the culture of whitewashing and lies that has adhered to the law enforcement system. The difficult questions that have arisen from the incident cry out for a serious investigation and a thorough, comprehensive examination.

"How can it be that the PIU entered the picture hours after the incident? Why were the policemen allowed to be together and not separated after what had happened? How did a suspicion of coordinating testimonies not arise from here? Why in real time did the police choose to close off the scene of the incident and prevent journalists and elected officials from documenting it? What did they have to hide? Why was the police involved with the team investigating [the policemen] and not the PIU only? How can it be that the authority that is supposed to be investigated takes a significant part in its own investigation?

Everything must be done so that we will arrive at a genuine investigation, because we deserve serious answers. A boy was killed here."

MK Mossi Raz (Meretz) tweeted on his Twitter account: "The Attorney General decided not to indict the policemen in the Ahuvia Sandak case. This is what whitewashing looks like. A scandalous decision. A youth was killed by a police car hitting his car and nobody is being penalized for it."

The chairman of the Otzma Yehudit party, MK Itamar Ben Gvir stated: "This is a black day for democracy in Israel. Several days before he leaves for home, the Attorney General gave policemen a license to kill hilltop youth and thrust a knife in the heart of the parents of Ahuvia Sandak, z"l, who are demanding a genuine investigation. Integrity, truth, and a striving for justice are absent from the system which is covering up in a criminal manner an attempt to bring the truth to light, and this damages the trust of the public in the system."

MK Michal Woldiger (Religious Zionism) tweeted on her Twitter account: "The decision to close the Ahuvia Sandak case is outrageous. Even if 'there was justification' for the chase and even if they were not directly responsible for overturning [the car], a youth was killed, the scene was destroyed, MKs were detained, the PIU whitewashed [the incident] and the investigation began two months later. This is selective enforcement. In every incident in which someone dies, there is an investigation. So now, because he has payot and a kippa, there's no investigation? It's an embarrassment."

MK Uriel Busso (Shas) stated: "If there were a genuine PIU, then there would be justice! … [Policemen] are not above the law! We will continue to fight for true justice for Ahuvia Sandak, z"l."

Religious Zionism chairman MK Betzalel Smotrich, tweeted a photograph of the car in which Ahuvia Sandak, z"l, was a passenger, with a photograph of the youth in the background, and wrote "The child is not here, and as for me, where will I go". (Gen. 37:30, Reuven about his brother Yosef). MK Smotrich also tweeted, "And moreover I saw under the sun, that in the place of justice, wickedness is there," (Ecc. 3:16) regarding the Attorney General's decision.

Law Professor Talia Einhorn tweeted on her Twitter account: "The conduct of the PIU and the Attorney General in the investigative case into the circumstances of the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z"l, at the hands of the police is a violation of the public's trust. This is what a disgrace looks like."

David Zilbershlag, a prominent figure in the hareidi world, leveled sharp criticism at the decision: "Closing the murder case of the holy Ahuvia Sandak, z"l, a graceful youth, should rally Ahuvia's loved ones. A large part of what was left of the dissipating trust in the Israeli justice system was brought to burial today. Let whoever has a bit of trust in the Israeli 'mill of justice' stand!"

Shlomo Ne'eman, the head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council in which Ahuvia, z"l, lived, stated: "With every accident and with every mistake, there will be those responsible. Whenever a terrorist is injured, a soldier will be investigated. Every committee of examination results in a dismissal. Every governmental investigation ends with criminal cases. Only for a youth in the Kfar Etzion cemetery is there nobody responsible and nobody suspected. This is a mark of disgrace. The blood of a Jewish boy from Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion is cheap. And that is abandonment by the government."

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