The High Court of Justice ordered police to release the body of the driver who was shot by police when allegedly killing a policeman with his vehicle.
The court ruled Monday that the body of Yaqoub Mousa Abu Al-Qia’an must be released, accepting a petition from human rights group Adalah.
Police had held onto the body, claiming that Abu Al-Qia’an was a terrorist who drove his car into the policemen intentionally, killing 1st Sgt. Erez Levi, and that the family refused to agree to demands designed to limit the number of worshipers and keep the funeral from turning into a protest.
However, family members and witnesses have claimed that police first shot Abu Al-Qia’an, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The court decision made no mention of Abu Al-Qia’an being a terrorist.
By a vote of 2-1, the bench said Abu Al-Qia’an, a school teacher and father of 12 from the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, should be buried on Tuesday.
The court also said that police cannot limit the number of mourners at the funeral and that the procession can leave from Umm al- Hiran to burial in Hura and last up to two hours.
Reacting to the court decision Joint List head Ayman Odeh accused the police of lying to the court, and said he is still demanding answers as to why homes in Umm al-Hiran were demolished and why police used so much force while securing the area for the operation.
“The police continue to spread incitement instead of taking responsibility for their terrible failures that led to the unnecessary deaths of two people on the same terrible morning,” he said in a statement.
Police responded to the court ruling stating that “the main consideration for police is public peace and safety. We respect the decision of the court and will act to uphold the funeral according to the terms set by the court.”
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