Be­douin car hit ‘not ter­ror’

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ANSHEL PF­EF­FER

NEW FIND­INGS on a clash be­tween Is­raeli po­lice and Be­douin res­i­dents in Jan­uary which left a po­lice of­fi­cer and a lo­cal teacher dead have forced the Is­raeli se­cu­rity chiefs into an em­bar­rass­ing climb-down.

Both Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Ronny Al­sheikh and In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Gi­lad Er­dan had in­sisted in the days af­ter the in­ci­dent that it had been a ter­ror at­tack and that Yakub Abu al-Kian, who was shot dead on the spot, was mo­ti­vated by ji­hadist be­liefs to run down Po­lice Sergeant Erez Amedi-Levi.

How­ever, a probe by the Jus­tice Min­istry’s De­part­ment of Po­lice In­ves­ti­ga­tions has found that there is no proof of a ter­ror at­tack and that the killing of the po­lice of­fi­cer and sub­se­quent shoot­ing were the re­sult of a mix-up be­tween the po­lice forces present.

Ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary find­ings leaked to the Is­raeli me­dia, the de­part­ment is ex­pected to con­clude there was no ter­ror at­tack at Um el-Hi­ran and that Mr Abu al-Kian had not in­tended to run over Sergeant Amedi-Levi.

De­spite ini­tial po­lice re­ports that he had been ac­cel­er­at­ing and driv­ing with­out lights, the de­part­ment found that he had ac­tu­ally been driv­ing un­der 20kph and with lights on.

Min­is­ter Er­dan be­gan the re­trac­tion last Thurs­day when he put out a state­ment say­ing that “if it turns out there was no ter­ror at­tack at Um el-Hi­ran, we will have to apol­o­gise”.

Se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers have been qui­etly call­ing for an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the op­er­a­tion car­ried out by the po­lice’s Negev force at Um el-Hi­ran, claim­ing the of­fi­cers in­volved in the evic­tion had been in­suf­fi­ciently pre­pared and had not taken the pre­cau­tions nec­es­sary to pre­vent the es­ca­la­tion.

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