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Unmarked police car rams youths’ car, killing one – Day 1

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

Monday, December 21, 2020

13:54 Police car chase in the Binyamin region, one youth in critical condition

A serious traffic accident occurred in the Binyamin region. According to reports received by Honenu, detectives from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police chased a car driven by youths from the area. The driver lost control of the car and was run off the road. Reports from the scene state that several injured youths have been evacuated to a hospital in Jerusalem. One youth in critical condition is being treated at the scene. A helicopter has been rushed to the scene.

Some of the injured were transported to the hospital handcuffed, despite their serious injuries. Honenu Attorney Nati Rom is on his way to the hospital to assist the injured and to find out how the police handled the incident.

Scene of the accident; Photo credit: Elazar Riger

14:22 The injured report that the police car rammed them from behind

Honenu Attorney Nati Rom is currently meeting with the injured youths at the Mt. Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem. According to eyewitness accounts, the accident occurred when the police car rammed their car from behind and from the force of the collision their car was thrown from the road.

From the scene of the accident tragic news has been received that one of the youths was killed.

Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, Honenu director: “The commanders of the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police have blood on their hands. They have allowed the best of our youth to be killed. This shocking incident should shake the Israeli Police and the Ministry of Public Security to their foundations, and also every official who permits life-threatening conduct such as this and allocates an enormous budget for it. ‘O earth, do not conceal their blood!’”

Injured youths guarded at the hospital

14:39 Honenu Attorney Nati Rom is at the Mt. Scopus trauma center

Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who is assisting the injured youths: “We are at the Mt. Scopus trauma center. This is a serious incident with several injured who are being prevented from receiving medical treatment. They are being kept handcuffed instead of receiving medical treatment.

“This is a very serious incident which should cause every heart to tremble. Youths were chased – the details will be clarified later – a car rammed their car from behind, which resulted in a tragedy.”

Honenu Atty. Nati Rom at the hospital; Photo credit: Honenu

15:34 The police are refusing to allow a private traffic inspector to access the scene of the accident

Honenu Attorneys and a private traffic inspector are being prevented from reaching the scene of the accident by a police barricade set up hundreds of meters from the site.

They have sent an urgent demand to the police to allow them to examine the police car which was involved with the accident. According to reports from the scene, personnel from the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police are not allowing access to the scene of the accident and are distancing photographers hundreds of meters from the site. Eyewitnesses say that there are signs of car-ramming on the police car.

At the Mt. Scopus Hospital, detectives from the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police are staying close to the injured youths and harassing them. Two of the injured are currently undergoing head CAT scans out of concern for internal injuries. Two others are receiving treatment in the emergency room. The detectives are refusing to allow Honenu Attorney Nati Rom access to the injured youths.

15:48 Police hatred of hilltop youth led to tragedy

Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, Honenu director: “For many years we have been witnesses to incomprehensible and intolerable abuse of hilltop youths by the police. We repeatedly warned that their deep hatred of the youths would lead to tragedy. Unfortunately one occurred today.”

Honenu Atty. Menashe Yado (white shirt) and others near the scene of the accident; Photo credit: Honenu

16:27 The PIU arrived at the scene of the accident

The Police Investigation Unit (PIU) started an investigation of the death of a Jewish youth in a car-ramming accident caused by detectives from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police. PIU investigators at the scene are gathering evidence.

At this stage the police are still blocking the Honenu Attorneys and the private traffic inspector from reaching the scene of the accident. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado: “We are here, below the site at which an incident occurred during which a police vehicle rammed a car from behind. Five youths were sitting in the car. One of them was killed and the other four were injured. This information was received from eyewitness accounts, including accounts from objective sources.

Letter from the police to Honenu Atty. Yado

“We asked the Yehuda and Shomron District Police to allow us to enter the scene [of the accident] with a traffic inspector who is here on our behalf in order to examine the scene. The response which we received was that the PIU and the police were on the scene and therefore we could not enter. This is an absurd situation. The police, who according to the eyewitnesses are suspected of causing a death, are on the scene examining, and we, who are representing the victim, are not allowed to enter. A closed military zone order has been given orally. The order is under the authority of the brigade commander and pertains only to security matters, not to investigations. Here there is no reason for it.

“We have heard disturbing rumors of actions at the scene which border on disruption of the investigation. We cannot say anything for certain, but it should not be that the police are there, and according to rumors the police car was moved before either the PIU or our traffic inspector arrived. This is a disturbing situation in which the police are suspected [of causing the death] and then inform me that I cannot enter the scene of the accident in which a police car is suspected of causing a lethal injury to a youth.”

Twitter, Josh Breiner, Monday, December 21, 2020, 16:29

Look at the disgrace. The police are not allowing anyone to get near the scene of an incident in which a 16-year-old youth was killed during a police car chase. Knesset Member Betzalel Smotrich is attempting to use his diplomatic immunity to get in and photograph the scene of the incident. A policeman is trying to detain him and also threatened him: “I will detain you!” It’s degrading. Immunity is precisely for situations like this. (Sorry about the sideways video clip.)

16:45 Announcement from the community of Bat Ayin:

Beloved community,

We announce with great sorrow the sudden death of Ahuvia, z”l, the son of Avraham and Ayelet Sandak. Representatives of social services and the local emergency committee are assisting the family at this difficult time. We will publicize details of the funeral at a later time.

Poster demanding that the incident not be whitewashed

17:00 Evidence at the scene proves that the police car collided with the youths’ car

Photographs of the scene of the accident prove that the police car rammed the youths’ car. The photographs show that the detectives’ unmarked police car has impact damage on its right front, while in the background the youths’ car is seen flipped onto its roof.

For many hours detectives from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police attempted to distance photographers from the scene of the accident and only now have photographs of the site been shared.

17:04 “Police brutality must stop”

Shlomo Ne’eman, the Gush Etzion Regional Council Head issued a statement: “The family is dear to us, well-known and very active in all areas of community life in the Gush [Gush Etzion]. We are with them in mourning and we will stand by them with whatever is necessary. The members and staff of the [Gush Etzion Regional] Council and the residents of Gush Etzion embrace the family and lament the great loss.”

“These youths are our children – period! Leave the education of our children to us. They are neither the enemy who has risen up to destroy the State [of Israel] nor terrorists trying to kill us.

Ne’eman emphasized that a police chase of a Jewish youth should not end with a funeral: “We are shocked and we demand a thorough investigation of the incident. In addition to revealing the truth, our unequivocal demand is for the police brutality to immediately stop. If only a small portion of the immense resources invested in pursuing hilltop youth had been invested in community matters and in education, we would not have been witnesses to the horrific tragedy which occurred today.”

18:30 The injured youths have been transported from the hospital to the police station

The four injured youths have been transferred from the Mt. Scopus Hospital to the Sha’ar Binyamin Police Station. Their parents and Honenu Attorney Nati Rom are at the entrance to the station, where an officer from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police is refusing to allow them to meet with the youths, some of whom are minors.

Honenu Attorney Nati Rom: “It is astonishing that even now the Israeli Police are not allowing us to enter and meet with the injured youths. I am waiting outside of the station with the families. Despite the medical condition of the youths and the news, which has been difficult to accept [the death of one of the youths], the unit whose policemen injured the youths is currently preventing us from entering [the station].

“According to the law and according to common sense, an injured and emotionally shaken youth should be with his parents and his attorney. Moreover, one of the detainees was released by the doctors and instructed to rest, but the police insisted on taking him in for interrogation.”

18:57 The Binyamin Regional Council Head has issued a statement

The incident occurred near the community of Rimonim.

Binyamin Regional Council Head Yisrael Gantz: “This was a very serious incident with extremely tragic consequences: A human life was taken. The job of the police is to save lives and not to cause the opposite. A comprehensive investigation must be handled by an independent police unit and with transparency. The police must change their modes of thinking. Hilltop youths are not the enemy and their blood is not cheap. The police must always act within the limits of the law, without endangering human lives.”

17:33 The Yesha Council calls for an impartial investigation

Yesha Council Head David Elhayani discussed the incident with Public Security Minister Amir Ohana and Major-General Moshe Bareket, the Yehuda and Shomron Police Commander. Elhayani presented them with the demand by the Yesha Council for an impartial investigation into the incident and for the truth to be uncovered as quickly as possible. Minister Ohana and Major-General Bareket informed him that they intend to investigate and accordingly the relevant authorities have been instructed to act.

The Yesha Council announced that they would continue to follow the incident in order to verify that it is being properly investigated.

19:45 Statement from Rabbi Daniel Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Bat Ayin

Dear Friends,

This is a time to feel pain and to cry out over the horrific tragedy of the death of our beloved youth, the holy and pure Ahuvia. He sacrificed his life with complete devotion to settle the Land of Israel. His pure soul ascended to Heaven in a windstorm.

May we be inspired by his desire for the good of the nation.

As a community we are united to do good for this very dear family. We will gather to console, to pray and to show our genuine love for the family.

May HaShem guide us to continue with greater strength in holiness for the sake of the Torah, the Nation, and the Land.

With pain, sorrow, and love,

Rabbi Daniel

20:36 Demonstrators attempted to storm the National Police Headquarters

Approximately 100 demonstrators attempted to storm the National Headquarters of the Israeli Police in Jerusalem in protest of the death of 16-year-old Ahuvia Sandak, z”l, earlier the same day during a police chase, when a unmarked police car rammed the car in which he was a passenger and it overturned. According to eyewitnesses at the demonstration, the police are conducting themselves with severe brutality.

The demonstrators are calling out in protest “The police are murderers,” and “You murdered a youth – you should be embarrassed”.

21:02 Policemen arrived at the demonstration with a water cannon

21:38 The light rail has been blocked

21:52 Severe police brutality

21:56 The police announced that they would begin use of the water cannon

22:28 Over 20 demonstrators have been detained

For several hours hundreds of demonstrators have been protesting opposite the National Headquarters of the Israeli Police in Jerusalem. As of now, Honenu’s legal headquarters has received reports of over 20 detentions and also many reports, including video clips, of unusually severe police brutality. The demonstrators are calling out “A Jew doesn’t kill a Jew,” “The police are murderers,” and other calls.

The police have announced their intent to use the water cannon on the demonstrators. There are minors among the detainees, some of them only approximately 13 years old. Attorneys from Honenu are on their way to the police station to assist the detainees.

23:23 There are reports of the police currently loading many demonstrators onto a bus

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

00:27 Detainees at protest in Tzfat

In Tzfat, dozens of demonstrators protested the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l. Four have been detained, some of them minors. One of the detainees sustained an injury due to police brutality and was evacuated to the hospital in Tzfat for medical treatment. According to reports from the scene the policemen sprayed the demonstrators with pepper spray. Attorneys from Honenu are assisting the detainees.

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