Police heard shouting 'don't shoot!' in new video from Bedouin village incident
AHMAD GHARABLI (AFP)
New video footage released Monday depicted the evacuation of a Bedouin village in January that ended with the death of a Bedouin man and an Israeli police officer, in what was controversially called a terror attack, police can be heard on the video shouting “don’t shoot!” just before gunshots rang out.
The man in question, Yakub Abu al-Qiyan, a resident of the village Umm-Al Hiran, was shot at from behind the wheel of his truck, after police claimed he was attempting a car-ramming. His vehicle struck and killed 34-year-old policeman Erez Levy.
Disputes sparked between police and witnesses as to whether al-Qiyan had intended to strike the officer in a car-ramming attack or lost control of the vehicle after being hit with gunfire.
In the video, filmed from afar, car horns and a commotion can be heard in the village with the repeated shouts of, “don’t shoot!” as police are directed to hold their fire.
The 30-second video ends with multiple shots heard and seen off in the distance in the early hours of January 18.
Police and Israel's public security minister Gilad Erdan initially announced that the incident was a clear car-ramming attack and that al-Qiyan had been shot in self-defense.
Friends, family, and colleagues of al-Qayan remain adamant that the 50-year-old vice principal had been wrongly accused of being an Islamist terrorist, saying that he had already been fatally shot when he plowed into 34-year-old policeman Erez Levy, killing him.
They believed that al-Qiyan, a father of 12, had been heading to the scene to talk with authorities in an attempt to halt the demolitions or had been on his way to a neighboring village.
Joint List MK Aida Touma Suleiman told i24NEWS the day after the evacuation that the police were not allowing herself or other MKs into the village, alleging that they wanted to protect their version of events.
"The people are saying very clearly the person killed was a vice-principal, he was a well-known teacher," she said.
"Then goes out a statement from the police saying that he is ISIS. This is incitement and it should stop now."
A probe was since launched following the incident and an autopsy performed on al-Qiyan, displaying evidence that could not rule out the possibility that he did not intend to attack police.
Further reports later revealed that the investigation conducted by the Justice Ministry’s Internal Investigations Department found no evidence to back the claim that the Bedouin man attempted a car-ramming attack and that he most likely lost control of the vehicle after being shot by police, causing him to veer into and kill the Israeli police officer.
The investigation also reportedly determined that the officer did not act according to protocol and used excessive force, according to Israeli media.
Israel’s Channel 10 News reported in January days after the incident, that his right knee, which had been on the gas pedal, was shattered by a bullet, potentially cause him to lose control of the vehicle.
Another bullet hit him in the chest, causing him to bleed out for nearly half an hour, the report said.
According to other reports, al-Qiyan's vehicle never exceeded 20 kilometers per hour, which is not a considered a speed that could carry out a ramming attack.
Haaretz quoted Judicial sources in February who stated, the findings would “not be good for police.”
Initially, Erdan wrote on Facebook that he believed the attack to be terror-inspired as, "No one has any other information source other than the police forces on the ground.”
“I, as a minister who wasn’t at the scene, can only rely on the police,” he wrote.
Police also reported to have found three copies of a newspaper dated November 5, 2015 which featured a terrorist attack north of Hebron, and another with a headline about an ISIS bombing attack on an airplane in the house of al-Qiyan, according to Israeli news site Mako.
On the same day of the reported investigations results were revealed by media, Erdan released a statement that authorities and the public should be more cautious in the future when using the term “terror attack.”
He also said that he will issue an apology to the family of the Bedouin man if the investigation found him innocent.
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