search

Knesset votes to investigate death of settler teen in police chase last year

Committee to probe accident that killed Ahuvia Sandak after investigation raises questions about police handling of case

People protest over the death of Ahuvia Sandak in a car crash during a police chase, near the Police Internal Investigations Department in Jerusalem on January 2, 2021 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
People protest over the death of Ahuvia Sandak in a car crash during a police chase, near the Police Internal Investigations Department in Jerusalem on January 2, 2021 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Knesset voted on Wednesday to investigate the death of a settler teen in a police chase last year.

Ahuvia Sandak, 16, was killed in a car crash while fleeing from police, allegedly after throwing rocks at Palestinians. Repeated recent protests over Sandak’s death have escalated into violence and arrests.

The investigation will be carried out by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Internal Security Committee, the Ynet news site reported.

The Knesset plenum voted in favor of the move after evidence surfaced in a report by Yedioth Ahronoth suggesting the initial investigation was negligent and carried out improperly.

The proposal was put forward by far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir and called for a joint committee to be set up within the next two weeks. The committee will discuss the police and military’s general handling of the so-called hilltop youth in the West Bank.

The proposal was supported by 40 Knesset members and opposed by two.

The investigation into the police handling of the case found that it made use of testimony by officials in the justice system who were themselves involved in the case.

Ahuvia Sandak, who was killed when his car flipped over while being chased by police in the West Bank on December 21, 2020. (Courtesy)

The police officers who pursued Sandak were also not taken for questioning immediately after the incident, and there were suspicions about the times listed on later reports.

Sandak’s death has become a rallying cry for far-right youth and sparked several violent protests in recent weeks, with the protesters claiming police were responsible for his death and demanding legal action.

Sandak, a resident of the Bat Ayin settlement, was fleeing Border Police in a car with three other youths on December 21, 2020, when the car flipped over, killing him. According to police, Sandak’s group fled from police before losing control of their vehicle. Sandak’s defenders view his death as a police killing; they allege that the police car hit his vehicle from behind, causing it to run off the road.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed