Investigation of Death of Ahuvia Sandak, Z”l, Ends in Stalemate

YERUSHALAYIM -
A sign put up at the entrance to the Bat Ayin village warns Israel Police from entering in the wake of Ahuvia Sandak’s death, Jan. 21. (POLICE SPOKESPERSON)

On Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security and the Committee on Internal Security, chaired by MK Meirav Ben-Ari, are investigating the affair of the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l.

Sandak was killed in a crash last Dec. 21 as police chased his car, after he and four other teens allegedly hurled rocks at Palestinian vehicles and attempted to flee from the police. Police have said the driver lost control of the vehicle and overturned, while townspeople have claimed the crash was caused by a police car ramming the vehicle.

The committee will deal with the allegations in the investigation of the affair, in demonstrations demanding the opening of the police investigation and in the violence of the police against the demonstrators.

The Honeinu human rights organization, which is representing Sandak’s family, has filed a number of complaints regarding the disruption of investigative proceedings, against the police officers involved in the incident, and claimed that Internal Affairs has clear evidence of disruption of investigative proceedings by the police.

“A young boy was killed by police officers, and the investigation must be thorough and in-depth on all aspects of the evidence, including the disruption of investigative proceedings by the police officers involved,” the organization stated.

“So far, the police investigation has been weak, and not professional. We hope that the police arrest is not lip service to the public that demands answers, but the beginning of a real change of direction,” it added.

Sandak’s family is demanding that the officers involved in the incident be charged with murder.

MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, the initiator of the investigation, said, “It is time to do justice. I hope and pray that the committee will discuss with an open heart and a desire to reach the truth of the matter.”

Ben-Gvir further attacked the conduct of the police investigation. “All the evidence from various sources involved in the incident raises suspicions that the investigation was tainted and conducted in a negligent and unprofessional manner.”

Police Internal Investigations Department representative at the hearing, Hila Edelman, said that “a decision has not yet been made in the case and therefore it is still open.  This is no ordinary event where what happened is clear. This is a complex investigation, and many actions have been taken as part of it. There have been many questions examined, and the case is being followed by the most senior officials. The decision will also be reached with them. The case files have been returned to be completed. ”

Ben-Ari slammed the PDI response. “There was an important and difficult discussion here, but we did not receive any answers. We have received no answers for a year. … Injustice is being done here. We are at this event with you (turning to Avraham Sandak, father of Ahuvia, z”l). We will try to sit with the Justice Minister this week. “