Hit-and-run victim Lee Zeitouni 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy: Facebook)
Roy Peled, whose fiancée
Lee Zeituni was killed last September – after being hit by a car
whose occupants left her dying on a Tel Aviv street – said Monday that the
growing number of similar hit-and-run accidents reported recently is becoming a
moral stain on Israeli society and if left unaddressed could become an accepted
“Sadly, we are seeing this happen more and more, nearly every day,”
said Peled, who plans to hold Wednesday, an emergency meeting of lawmakers, law
enforcement officials and victims, together with the non-profit road safety
organization Or Yarok in order to address this apparently growing
According to Peled, aside from the hundreds of road
fatalities that happen each year in Israel, more than 700 incidents are
considered hitand- run, in which the person responsible immediately drives away
from the scene.
While the majority of victims are left injured, in the
past year alone some 18 people were killed, he said.
“There is a law in
Israel that demands someone stop and help another person if they have been hurt.
Anyone can be in an accident but if you don’t stop and help those who are
physically hurt, you are committing a crime, even if you do come back to the
scene or turn yourself in only a few hours later,” said Peled, whose girlfriend was left dying by two men who immediately fled the country to their
On Friday night, two young runners were hit and badly
injured in a similar accident near Kibbutz Givat Brenner, and just last month
three women pedestrians in Netanya were killed by a driver who fled the scene.
In the second case, a massive police manhunt ensued and the vehicle’s alleged
driver was later arrested.
“If we allow this kind of behavior to
continue, if we do not work completely to stop this kind of crime, we will start
to see a real breakdown in the core of Israeli values,” said Peled.
– who gave up his regular job following Zeituni’s death, in order to dedicate
time to seek justice in her case and to help victims of similar accidents – said
the goal of Wednesday’s conference, to be held in Tel Aviv, was to “brainstorm
ways to prevent further individuals from being killed or families torn apart by
“We want to bring everyone together in the same room,
those who have been hurt by these accidents and those who can make a change and
improve prevention, to find a real solution,” he said.
Peled added that
his basic hope was that the meeting would help pave the way for real change, at
least in the sense of emphasizing the criminality in running away from the scene
of a traffic accident The bereaved fiancé, who has been extremely visible and
vocal in seeking justice for Zeituni, especially with the French authorities,
said he was not willing to talk about the one-year anniversary of her death on
However, he said that Zeituni’s family had recently
submitted a petition in the French court system to bring the two men – who are
still free – to justice. In addition, French tax authorities last month launched
an investigation into the financial status of the two men, Claude Isaac Hayat
and Eric Rubic.
The two later admitted responsibility for the accident in
an interview on Israeli TV.