Monday, October 26, 2020

Human Rights organisation calls for independent investigation into police killing of Bedouin

By Henry James - June 26, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Bedouin] [Umm il Heiran]

The investigation following the killing of a Bedouin math teacher in January 2017 by Israeli police has been 'riddled with flaws, conflicts of interest, and obstruction of justice,’ according to Arab Legal Centre.

A Shin Bet report on the killing in Umm al-Hiran village last year concluded that the resident of the Bedouin village, Jacob Moussa Abu Al Qia’an, wasn’t purposely driving towards the Police with his vehicle, and that the death of a Police Officer was marked to a “police failure.”
The incident refers to when Israeli Police entered the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, in the south of Israel, to destroy houses which the owners didn’t have - according to the authorities - a permit to construct the housing.
The police said that Abu Al Qia’an, 50-years-old, drove with his car towards the police officers, subsequently killing one on them. Another police officer then shot and killed Abu Al Qia’an. Police presented it later as a “terror attack.”
People living in the village have affirmed that Abu Al Qia’an was driving slowly when police officers shot in his direction. His death have led to strikes and demonstrations in the Arab cities of Israel.
The prosecutor’s office concluded last month, after an investigation about the incident and seeing the Shin Bet’s documents, that they weren’t able to determine if Abu Al Qia’an committed a terror attack.
The investigation, led by State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, determined the police officers who shot Abu Al Qia’an a few moments before his vehicle drove to the police officer who died, weren’t suspected of committing a crime and that the police opening fire was completely legal.
The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Adalah, recently released a statement asking the Attorney General of Israel, Avichai Mandelblit, to hand over all investigatory materials, including the report filed by the Shin Bet officer and Abu al-Qia’an’s autopsy report.
Adalah, suspecting conflict of interest in the initial report, is ordering the establishment of a neutral examination into the investigation of the killing of Abu al-Qia’an by Israeli Authorities and that any future appeal filed by Adalah relating to this case be considered by the Attorney General and not by the State Prosecutor.
“On 1 May 2018, Israeli State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan issued a press release in which he announced the investigation revealed there is 'no reasonable suspicion that police officers involved in the incident committed any criminal acts.’ Regarding Israeli police allegations that Abu al-Qi'an intentionally harmed officers with his vehicle, Nitzan left this question open and announced that this 'cannot be answered with a high degree of certainty,’” Adalah stated.

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