Settler youths suspected of negligent homicide in fatal crash during chase

Police are probing negligent homicide suspicions against four friends of a teenage settler who died in a car crash while fleeing police, after allegedly throwing rocks at Palestinians in the West Bank, Hebrew media outlets reported Monday.

The four so-called hilltop youth, who were in the car with 16-year-old Ahuvia Sandak at the time of last week’s crash, had earlier been questioned on the lesser suspicion of manslaughter.

They are also being investigated over the alleged stone-throwing incident that led to the chase.

In addition to the probe of the four, who were all injured in the crash, the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department has questioned the officers involved in the incident.

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

Since the incident, a number of violent protests over Sandak’s death have been held around Israel.

The vehicle carrying the youths flipped over near the Michmash Junction, killing Sandak and injuring the four others. The suspects were apprehended and taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in Jerusalem with light to moderate injuries.

Police said officers had 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 at 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 officers clash with demonstrators during a protest following the death of Ahuvia Sandak during a police chase, outside the police headquarters in Jerusalem, December 26, 2020 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Hundreds of right-wing protesters clashed with cops in Jerusalem Saturday evening over Sandak’s death.

The demonstrators rioted outside the national police headquarters, blocking roads and the light rail tracks, according to a police statement, which said protesters also hurled rocks at officers, 11 of whom were injured.

Twenty-one protesters were arrested on suspicion of disturbing the peace.

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