A Palestinian citizen of Israel smeared as a “terrorist” by Israeli authorities was driving his car at just six miles per hour when police officers opened fire, an official investigation revealed.
Yaqoub Abu Al-Qi’an, a maths teacher and father from Umm Al-Hiran in the Negev, was killed in the incident which took place on 18 January 2017 during a demolition raid by Israeli state forces.
Having lost control of his car, Abu Al-Qi’an struck a police officer, who died of his injuries. Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan subsequently claimed that a deliberate car-ramming attack had taken place, and that the slain Palestinian had links to “ISIS”, Daesh.
While Israeli authorities have now decided to close the case against the police involved in the fatal shooting, their own investigation revealed that Abu Al-Qi’an was driving at just six miles per hour when Israeli forces first opened fire on his vehicle.
In a further disturbing detail, the Israeli Justice Ministry investigators “also concluded that Abu Al-Qi’an didn’t receive medical treatment after he was shot, and consequently bled to death”.
According to Haaretz, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan decided to close the case without determining whether or not the police officer was run over intentionally, after Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich “pressed him to refrain from declaring that this wasn’t a terror attack”.
Alsheich, like Minister Erdan, had similarly smeared Abu Al-Qi’an as an “evil terrorist”.
The decision not to open any criminal investigations against the Israeli police officers involved in both the fatal shooting and denial of medical treatment is unsurprising, given the long-standing and well-documented culture of impunity amongst Israeli security forces.