Aseel Abu Oun, an 8-year-old Palestinian girl living in the West Bank village of Furush Beit Dajan, was leaving a supermarket with a friend on Saturday when she was allegedly hit by an Israeli driver.
Although attempts were made to resuscitate her at the scene, the little girl was pronounced dead upon her arrival at the hospital.
Al Jazeera and other sources reported the driver was detained by Israeli police for questioning, but Aseel's family is demanding that an independent authority take over the investigation due to their suspicion of Israeli law enforcement. They told reporters that they believe the driver has already been allowed to walk free.
"We are used to the Israeli police and their ways of dealing with settler aggression or attacks on Palestinians," said Jawdat Abu Oun, one of the little girl's relatives. "We have asked for an independent, non-biased actor to oversee the investigation, but we don't think it will go anywhere."
According to Aseel's father, Tareq Abu Oun, the driver attempted to flee the scene, but a group of bystanders prevented them from driving away. Jawdat told reporters that the Israeli settler was armed, as permitted under law, but that the men managed to wrestle the weapon from them and keep them from escaping until the police arrived.
Tragedies like these take place far too often in parts of the West Bank, and the low conviction rates are such that some question the handling of the cases by Israeli police.
Mint Press News reported that law enforcement officials usually treat these incidents like accidents, even when witnesses allege otherwise. Even in instances where the hit-and-run is fatal, Israeli police have a track record of doing the bare minimum and then moving on, leaving the families to grieve without closure and the community's distrust of law enforcement to grow.
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