Hundreds of people protested in Jerusalem on Thursday night over the death of a young settler who was killed in a car crash when he and others tried to flee police after allegedly throwing rocks at Palestinians in the central West Bank.
Demonstrators blocked the light rail train in the center of the city and massed outside police headquarters on the fourth night of protests following the death on Monday of 16-year-old Ahuvia Sandak.
Police said 12 demonstrators were arrested for disorderly conduct and assaulting officers, the Kan public broadcaster reported. Most of the protesters were teenagers, reports said.
Additional protests were held over Sandak’s death at intersections around the country.
המחאות בעקבות מותו של נער הגבעות | המשטרה עצרה 9 מפגינים סמוך לצומת המטה הארצי לאחר שחסמו את הציר ובחשד שתקפו שוטרים. השוטרים הרחיקו מפגינים מתוואי הרכבת לקול צעקות "נאצים". בהפגנה על מות אהוביה סנדק משתתפים עשרות אנשים@VeredPelman
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The vehicle belonging to the so-called hilltop youth flipped over near the Michmash Junction in the West Bank, killing Sandak and injuring four others. The suspected stone-throwers were apprehended and taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in Jerusalem with light to moderate injuries. Sandak was from the southern West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin.
Police said following the accident that officers signaled for the vehicle to halt after catching the young men hurling rocks at passing Palestinian vehicles. The suspects refused and sought to flee the scene, then lost control of their vehicle, which rolled over on the side of the road.
According to Honenu, a legal aid group that often represents far-right settlers, the police car “hit [the settlers’] vehicle with force from behind, and the force of the impact caused their car to run off the road.”
Sandak was trapped under the car and it took roughly 40 minutes to pull him out, the group said.
According to Army Radio, though, the other passengers in the car assumed that Sandak had fled the scene, not knowing that he remained trapped under the vehicle. They also refused to cooperate with police at the scene, wasting time that could have been used to save the victim.
Police questioned the other passengers in the car on Wednesday on suspicion of negligent manslaughter, according to Hebrew media reports. They were also being investigated over the alleged stone-throwing incident that led to the chase.
At the same time as the probe of the four, who were all lightly-to-moderately injured in the crash, the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department was questioning the officers involved in the incident.
The deadly car crash came hours after an Israeli woman, Esther Horgen, was found dead in a northern West Bank forest where she had gone for a run a day earlier, apparently after she was killed violently.
Security forces arrested a Palestinian man Thursday suspected in Horgen’s murder, as well as several suspected accomplices.
Horgen’s murder sparked several days of tension in the West Bank. On Monday night, dozens of settlers marched through Huwara, a Palestinian village close to Nablus, in response to the murder. According to Israeli media reports, 13 allegations that settlers threw stones at Palestinians were reported on Tuesday alone.
Military sources told the Walla news site that they feared Horgen’s death could spark a series of revenge attacks by the settler youth on Palestinians and further inflame the already tense situation in the West Bank.