Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel demanded that Israeli authorities to investigate “the suspicious circumstances that led to the death of a (Palestinian) Bedouin man during a violent home demolition operation in the village of Umm al-Hiran in the Naqab desert.”
Yacoub Abu al-Qeean, a 50-year-old math teacher from Atir-Umm al-Hiran, was killed after Israeli police opened fire on his vehicle as he was driving through the Bedouin village during state preparations for a large-scale home demolition.
— Palestine Social (@PalestineSocial) January 18, 2017
According to Adalah, the parents of Abu al-Qeean have asked the center to represent the family and to demand that the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Division (Mahash) investigate the circumstances of their son’s death.
In the letter to Mahash, sent late Wednesday, Adalah attorneys Nadeem Shehadeh and Mohammad Bassam argued that police video footage of the incident and eyewitness testimony reveal that police opened fire on Abu al-Qeean’s vehicle before he accelerated in the direction of officers.
This totally contradicts police claims that Abu al Qeean sought to “ram” them with his vehicle, said Adalah in a statement.
MK Ayman Odeh, head of Joint List in Knesset, shot in head + wounded by Israeli (Border) Policeman using rubber-coated bullet, Um al-Hiran pic.twitter.com/hU19CRSUSG
— Marian Houk (@Marianhouk) January 18, 2017
Adalah demanded “immediate action to conduct an autopsy of the deceased without delay and before burial. We likewise request that an autopsy be conducted on the body of the police officer who was killed, apparently when he was hit by [Abu al-Qeean’s] vehicle.”
A large police forces arrived in Umm al-Hiran on Tuesday to carry out demolition orders on homes in a central section of the village.
During the operation, policemen shot and killed Abu al-Qeean while he was driving his car, which subsequently ran over a policeman during the incident. The police claim that Abu al-Qeean deliberately launched a car-ramming attack against the officers.
However, this claim was strongly refuted by villagers and activists who witnessed the incident, stating that Abu al-Qeean was trying to leave the village and lost control of his car only after police fired at him.
2-Israeli special forces assaulted this morning n village v Ûm Al-Hiran n occupied Negev,2demolish Palestinians'houses v Israeli nationality pic.twitter.com/DifQ6njM9V
— Opération Boycott (@opBoycott) January 18, 2017
The police released aerial footage shot from a drone several hours later, which appeared to confirm the eyewitnesses’ account of events: the footage clearly shows officers shot at Abu al-Qeean’s vehicle multiple times as he was still driving slowly along a dirt road, far from any officers, and preceding any acceleration.
Bulldozers secured by Israeli police forces eventually leveled eight homes and seven agricultural buildings in Umm al-Hiran during the course of the morning.
(Adalah, WAFA, PC, Social Media)