Mayors to Police: Stop Ignoring Roadside Murder

December 30, 2014  

The chairmen of 20 regional councils in Judea and Samaria have penned a letter to the heads of Israel’s security establishment demanding that an attack labelled as a hit-and-run be recategorized as a terror attack.

On December 1, three Arabs plowed into 63 year-old Avraham Ben-Tzion with his own stolen vehicle as he was standing at the Alon Intersection on December 1.

The three admitted that they had planned to lightly hit an Israeli motorist, then spray him or her with tear gas and steal the vehicle as the driver inspected the damage. Ben-Tzion, the eventual victim, was killed unintentionally as the three made a U-turn in his vehicle. The Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) has nonetheless deemed the attack a “crime” instead of terror. 

On Monday, the regional council leaders wrote a letter protesting the decision to Defense Minister Ya’alon, Central District Police Commander Nitzan Alon, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, Judea-Samaria Police District Commander Coby Cohen, and IDF State Prosecutor Gen. Dani Efroni, according to Walla! News

“A few weeks ago Avi was found lifeless at the Alon Intersection and suffered a severe head injury,” reads the letter. “Avi Ben-Tzion, a veteran who lived in the Jordan Valley, a company commander in the Golani Brigade, who was Zionist in all the 248 organs of his body and in his soul, fought his injuries – but he died the next day.”

The letter then argues the case for declaring the hit-and-run a terror attack.

“Last week, police announced that three Arabs from the village of Aqraba were arrested and admitted carrying out the murder, but to our amazement the police claims that the incident was a criminal act rather than nationalistic in origin,” the letter states. “There is no need to waste words on the phenomenon of stolen vehicles in Judea-Samaria. Who commits the acts are Arabs, and the phenomenon is directed solely against Israeli vehicles.” 

“In the past there have been cases in which terrorists attempted to carry out attacks using stolen cars,” the letter continued. “We have no doubt that Avi was robbed because he was Jewish and was murdered because he was Jewish.”

The mayors then urged the police to listen carefully to the family’s testimony.

“The information that the family has raises many questions, to say the least, about the investigation and its outcome,” they stated. “We urge you to order the reopening of the way the investigation was held to clarify to the murder in depth, and to recognize Avi as a victim of terror.”

“In addition, we expect that the heads of the security of the State of Israel will work to resolve the phenomenon of carjackings and turn the security system to refer to these events as terrorist attacks in every respect,” they continued. “It is inconceivable that the life of Jews who drive these roads will be abandoned.”

This is not the first time the police have been accused of covering up this murder as a “crime” – nor a string of other murders under uncertain circumstances.

Several months ago, construction worker Netanel Arami was murdered by Arabs at his construction site after he was pushed from the eleventh story of an unfinished building – a murder Netanel’s mother Miriam has been adamant that the police intentionally avoided labelling as a terror attack.

The police have similarly covered up numerous terrorist murders, including those of Rabbi Moshe TalbiAsher Palmer and Yonatan, his less-than-a-year-old infant son, as well as Shelly Dadon hy”d more recently.

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