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Thursday, January 21, 2021, 23:10 On the night of Thursday, January 21, demonstrations took place at dozens of central locations throughout Israel with the participation of thousands of protesters carrying signs with Ahuvia Sandak’s photograph. The protesters demanded that Public Security Minister Amir Ohana form an external investigative committee to examine the conduct of the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police and the circumstances of Ahuvia’s death. Ahuvia Sandak, z”l, was killed in a police car chase on December 21, 2020. Prior to the demonstrations, announcements were shared among activists with lists of location, names of coordinators, and slogans: “We won’t be silent over the injustice!”, “We won’t allow a PIU cover-up!” (Police Investigation Unit). Protest coordinators reported that after the locations of planned demonstrations were announced, they received more and more requests to participate in the demonstrations and to hold demonstrations in additional locations.
In one notable incident, civilians reported that a detainee who was brought by border policemen from a demonstration to the Ariel Police Station lost consciousness. Honenu Attorney Nati Rom arrived at the police station to provide legal counsel and medics evacuated the detainee in a mobile intensive care ambulance.
At the Bar Ilan Bridge in Ramat Gan, dozens of protesters blocked Route 4 and were removed by the police. Demonstrators at the String Bridge in Jerusalem are intermittently blocking the entrance to the city. At the Shomron Brigade Base Junction, border policemen presented to the demonstrators a closed military zone order signed by the Shomron Brigade Commander, Colonel Ro’i Tzveig, and for some time unsuccessfully attempted to disperse the demonstrators.
Rabbi Yehoshua Mordechai Shmidt, Chief Rabbi of Shavei Shomron and Rosh Yeshivat Nahalat Yosef, and Yossi Degan, Shomron Regional Council Head, protested at Shavei Shomron Junction.
Demonstrations also took place in Netanya opposite the home of Keren Bar-Menachem, the head of the PIU, Nof HaGalil, at the Latrun Junction, opposite the National Headquarters of the Israeli Police in Jerusalem, in Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva, Tzfat, and Holon, at Ra’anana Junction, Niztan Junction, and at intersections in Yehuda and Shomron and at dozens of other locations.
To illustrate the extent of the protesting, as the demonstrations were taking place, the Yehuda and Shomron security headquarters sent the following text message to residents: “Headquarters: Good evening, residents! There are roads blocked and heavy traffic due to Jewish demonstrations at the following intersections: Shomron Brigade Base Junction, Tapuah Junction, Rehalim Junction, Shavei Shomron Junction, Kedumim Junction, Karnei Shomron Junction, Gittai Junction, Avishar Junction. Gilad Road is closed in both directions. An announcement will be sent when the roads are opened.”
As of shortly before 22:00, Honenu had received reports of six detainees at demonstrations throughout Israel. Three were detained in the Shomron, an adult and a 16-year-old youth were detained at the String Bridge in Jerusalem, and a 14-year-old youth was detained at Shilo Junction. Approximately one hour later three additional minors were detained at Shilo Junction and taken to the Modi’in Police Station. Protesters reported police brutality throughout Israel and tickets given for coronavirus regulations violations at several demonstrations. Honenu Attorneys provided legal counsel to the detainees, the injured and to protesters who received tickets for coronavirus regulations violations.