Probe into Umm al-Hiran shows Bedouin killed by police for no reason

A petition is expected to be filed to the High Court of Justice by Adalah and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) to reopen the investigation into police conduct in the incident.

THE CAR DRIVEN by Beduin teacher Yacoub Abu al-Kaeean is seen where it ran into policemen during the fatal January 18 demolition operation in the Negev village of Umm al-Hiran. (photo credit: REUTERS)
THE CAR DRIVEN by Beduin teacher Yacoub Abu al-Kaeean is seen where it ran into policemen during the fatal January 18 demolition operation in the Negev village of Umm al-Hiran.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
New evidence from a probe into a police demolition of the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in 2017 determined that a Bedouin man shot by the police and left to die was in fact shot for no reason, Haaretz reported.
The findings were based on documents from the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Justice Ministry-controlled Police Investigations Department (PID), which were obtained and investigated by Dr. Ariel Livneh from Forensic Architecture, a multidisciplinary research agency that has looked into several incidents in Israel in the past, including the Umm al-Hiran incident.
In response to these findings, which were revealed Saturday night to Israeli media, a petition is expected to be filed to the High Court of Justice by Adalah and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) to reopen the investigation into police conduct in the incident.
Umm al-Hiran, an unrecognized village in Israel's South, was dismantled in January 2017 by the police to make way for a new town for ultra-Orthodox Jews, when a police officer – identified only as "S." – shot at the car of Kiyan, a Bedouin school teacher, who was reportedly driving at only 10 kilometers per hour.
After being shot, he lost control of his car, which crashed into Israeli police officer Erez Levy, killing him.
Police medics surrounded Levy while subsequently ignoring Kiyan, who was bleeding on the ground, but still alive.
According to Dr. Maya Forman, part of the forensics unit that did the autopsy on Kiyan's body, the cause of death was due to a failure to receive treatment. "Had he received treatment... he would not have died," she said, according to Haaretz.
According to reports, several activists, including Joint List leader Ayman Odeh, were shot by police with rubber bullets and tear gas when they attempted to approach Kiyan's body. Odeh was shot in the back of the head and had to be evacuated to a hospital. At the time, police claimed Odeh was injured by stones, though the Joint List MK has always maintained he was wounded by a police rubber bullet.
JOINT LIST CHAIRMAN Ayman Odeh is seen after he was injured last year during a clash with police in Umm al-Hiran, an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev. (Credit: Amir Cohen/Reuters)JOINT LIST CHAIRMAN Ayman Odeh is seen after he was injured last year during a clash with police in Umm al-Hiran, an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev. (Credit: Amir Cohen/Reuters)
“I am not the story here,” Odeh said in an interview with Army Radio at the time, when asked about his condition. “I here send my condolences to the families of the two casualties.”
Despite reports by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) that Levy's death was not a terrorist car-ramming attack, both the police and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan labeled it a terrorist attack.
In May 2018, State Attorney Shai Nitzan ordered the investigation into the police's conduct closed.
The incident at Umm el-Hiran "is a bloody stain on Israeli civil and police relations," PCATI said in a statement ahead of the petition's filing, according to Mekomit. "A civilian and a police officer were killed without any need and justification, the case  was closed without opening a criminal investigation, and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan publicly stated that this was a terror attack, even though all the evidence says otherwise.
According to a police statement to Haaretz, "This was a regrettable incident, during which a policeman was run over and killed, another policeman was injured and the driver who rammed into them was killed after being neutralized by the police, all during an operation carried out lawfully at the site.
"A Justice Ministry unit examination found unequivocally that there was no suspicion of any criminal wrongdoing by the police."
Udi Shaham and Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.