JERUSALEM – It took the Israeli government almost four years from the Negev desert to apologize to a Bedoin family, a relative of whom had hurled a car at a police officer, and who was hit by a police bullet, in a hurry and one The terrorist was labeled incorrectly.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally addressed this week’s injustice, publicly apologizing to the family of the slain man, Yakub Abu al-Qian. But his presentation angered many current and former officials, who accused Mr Netanyahu of defaming the law enforcement officers and judiciary of the tragic case as part of his broader campaign to bring his corruption into the coming months The case goes to the crucial stage.
In January 2017, Umm al-Hiran’s skirmish over the assassination in Bedouin Hamlet was the latest in a growing ugly display between Mr Netanyahu and law enforcement agencies, claiming he is trying to topple them.
“I apologize to the al-Qian family, headed by an Israeli citizen,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday. He said that he was a terrorist. Yesterday, it was revealed that he was not a terrorist. “
The day after a television news report claimed that the police and the state’s attorney’s office had covered the veracity and accidental circumstances of Mr. Al-Qian and the police officer’s deaths to ensure credibility. Police, and with it, the integrity of the criminal investigation against Mr. Netanyahu.
Mr al-Qian’s family welcomed the apology but said that if it was honest, he should come and see the family and give them compensation.
Salim Abu al-Qian, a brother-in-law and cousin of the dead man, apologized, “First of all, better than nothing.” “Of course, Netanyahu played this card to his advantage,” he added in an interview, describing the prime minister as a skilled politician.
The Internal Police Investigation Department under the aegis of the Ministry of Justice conducted a preliminary investigation at the time, and the Shin Bet Internal Security Agency also examined evidence at the scene. But in May 2018, the state’s attorney at the time determined that it was impossible to say with certainty whether Mr. Al-Qian had intentionally rammed his car into a police officer, Advanced Staff Sergeant. Erez-Shul Levy, or lost control of the car after having already been shot by police officers who came on pre-dawn raids to demolish part of the village.
The police commissioner at the time insisted that Mr. al-Qian was a terrorist. And the state’s attorney decided not to conduct any criminal investigation on the conduct of the police, on the basis that even though they had shot Mr. Al-Qian by mistake, they were based on the best understanding of the situation at the time Were working
But the television report, which was full of twists and turns, claimed that state attorneys and other legal officials had committed police misconduct in that and other, unrelated cases, to preserve their internal working relationships and Mr. Netanyahu’s Had preferred to avoid any ammunition against. them.
Many details of the television report have since been denied by the authorities concerned, including former state attorneys. Nevertheless, Mr. Netanyahu seized it, saying that “it has become clear that senior figures and police in the state attorney’s office turned him into a terrorist to protect himself and hurt me.”
Avichai Mandelblit, another target of the Attorney General and Mr. Netanyahu’s ire, denounced Mr. Netanyahu’s claims in a statement on Wednesday. Mr. Mandelblit said that there was no connection between the events of Umm al-Hiran, the subsequent investigation, and Mr. Netanyahu’s, stating that such allegations were “false, an invention out of thin air, the entire purpose of which was to make law enforcement To be handed over. The system and its decisions regarding the Prime Minister. “
Mr Netanyahu is on trial in three corruption cases, having been charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The High Court is scheduled to be heard in January, with three courts to be heard in a week. Mr. Netanyahu has denied all wrongdoing, and accused the media, police and the justice system of plotting to hunt a witch against him and his family. He has called his investigators to investigate.
Against the backdrop of the escalating conflict between Mr Netanyahu and Mr Mandelblit, the Hatrez newspaper reported on Wednesday that Mr Mandelblit’s team was deliberating on whether Mr Netanyahu’s efforts to mitigate the cases against him Must be declared disabled. Mr Mandelblit’s office said it was not asking Mr Netanyahu to leave and would not comment on the internal discussion.
The parents of the deceased police officer Sergeant Levy have also condemned Mr Netanyahu’s change of heart. Believing that his son was the victim of a deliberate attack, he told the Israeli news media that he felt ashamed of Mr. Netanyahu, “who sacrificed our son at the altar of his political interests.”
Umm al-Hiran’s evacuation came as part of a long land dispute between the Bedouins and the government, which was planned primarily for Jewish families, to dodge the village to make way for a new city, Hiran. Was.
The police had arrived early, and in 2017 that day in force. Mr. Al-Qian, a math teacher in his 50s, was driving his car on the side of the village on a roadside before the sun rose. His cousin, Salim, said he was the last person to talk on the phone with Mr. Al-Qian, minutes before he was killed.
“I told them they were coming to destroy the houses,” the cousin said at the time. He said that he does not want any violence. I asked him to come to our place. “
Footage shown on Israeli television that night showed an officer in Mr. Al-Qian’s vehicle setting fire, before it caught speed and crashed into a group of police officers.
Israeli police and government officials immediately announced it as a deliberate car ride and portrayed Mr al-Qian as an Islamic extremist. But the police version of the incidents was immediately disputed by relatives of Mr. Al-Qian and human rights activists, who came to support the villagers.
Talking to the Negev on phone on Thursday, Salim al-Qian said that forgiveness was a start. But he said that the family had been demanding more than three years for a special investigation into the case. “We deserve the truth,” he said, “although we already knew it.”