Israeli Cops Fatally Shoot Man Assuming He Was A Terrorist — He Wasn't

Israeli police shot at a car only on a mere assumption. The driver lost control of his vehicle, killing an officer. But Israel just cleared its officers of any criminal act.



In January 2017, Israeli police in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran shot at a car assuming the driver was a terrorist. 

The driver, Yakub Abu al-Kiyan, was hit and lost control of his vehicle, which ran over a police officer, Erez Levy, killing him.

Later, al-Kiyan, a Bedouin school teacher, bled for 15 minutes to death in his vehicle.

Initially, the Israeli police claimed that al-Kiyan was driving with his lights off, which triggered suspicion of criminal intent. However, footage of the incident contradicted the claims as in it al-Kiyan's vehicle had its lights on.

The Justice Ministry department investigation also found in February that al-Kiyan was not a terrorist, which suggests the man died as a result of an error in judgment on the part of the Israeli police.

However, Israeli authorizes have cleared the officers involved in the killing of any criminal act and closed the case.

Israeli justice system is notorious for handing out slaps on the wrists to Israeli officers found guilty of killing unarmed Palestinians. Two cases made headlines this year: Elor Azaria, a former IDF recruit, was handed nine months in jail for killing an incapacitated Palestinian man. Ben Deri, a former police officer, was also given nine months for fatally shooting a Palestinian protester.

However, al-Kiyan's case has left the local community baffled since no one has been held accountable for his killing.

Ra’ad Abu al-Kiyan, al-Kiyan’s nephew who is also an activist and a leader of the Umm al-Hiran community, plans to appeal the closing of the case.

Not only was al-Kiyan shot at on the basis of mere suspicion, he was also allowed to bleed to death in his car. Autopsy reports stated if he had received medical assistance on time, he could have been saved.

“We didn’t have too many expectations. The prosecutors are part of the state and sadly, instead of investigating the truth regarding this murder they decided to skip over it,” al-Kiyan's nephew said, according to Haaretz.

“Yakub was shot and left bleeding. We will never give up our demand to reopen this investigation and will continue until the truth is revealed,” he added.

Banner/Thumbnail Credits: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

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