Journalist Jonathan Cook reports that thousands of Palestinian Israelis came to bury a man killed by Israel forces, Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan, “but that Israeli police refused to release the corpse, two days after Abu al-Qiyan was shot dead during a pre-dawn raid to bulldoze his home and those of another dozen families.”
A sword has hung over the heads of Umm al-Hiran’s 1,000 inhabitants for many months, as the Israeli government has advanced plans to raze the Palestinian Bedouin village of 150 homes and replace it with a town for Israeli Jews.
Raed Abu al-Qiyan, Yacoub’s 40-year-old nephew, told Al Jazeera: “Not only did the police kill him in cold blood, but now they are holding his body hostage to try to make more convincing their ridiculous story that he is a terrorist.”
Israeli police claim that they shot dead Abu al-Qiyan after he committed a “car-ramming attack” – driving into a group of Border Police, killing one of them.
But Cook writes:
Witnesses, including Israeli Jewish activists who were in the village to protest the demolitions, say Abu al-Qiyan lost control of his car on the dusty hillside below his home after Israeli police shot at him in the early morning darkness.
…..An aerial video taken by police appears to confirm the witnesses’ accounts, showing Abu al-Qiyan driving slowly and cautiously until there were bursts of gunfire from the police. The car can then be seen accelerating and veering wildly down the steep slope.
According to Cook, Israeli Ministers “have echoed seemingly unsubstantiated police claims that Abu al-Qiyan was an ISIL supporter,” but “Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan’s 24-year-old son, Hussam, who recently returned from his last year of medical studies in Ukraine, said that description of his father bore “no relationship to reality”.
Cook writes that an Israeli spokesperson claimed that officers had initially “fired warning shots into the air”, not at the vehicle. He continues:
But a report on Friday night on Israel’s Channel 10 TV challenged that version. Abu al-Qiyan’s autopsy, it said, showed he was hit in the torso and knee in the first rounds of shooting. He then bled to death over half an hour while police refused to let an ambulance attend to him.
……A maths teacher, Abu al-Qiyan reportedly had his computer, clothes and his pupils’ books in the back of the car when he died.
Cook reports, “In the wake of the leaked autopsy report, liberal Jewish legislators have started to raise questions too about the police conduct.
Ksenia Svetlova, of Zionist Union, said that, if it was shown that Abu al-Qiyan was denied life-saving treatment, “then it’s Azaria case number two” – a reference to an army medic, Elor Azaria, who was filmed last year executing a wounded Palestinian in the West Bank city of Hebron.
For all Israelis and Palestinians killed since 200 see Israel-Palestine Timeline