Video: “They came to conquer”

“It’s not a state, or a government or forces that came to enforce the law. They came to conquer.”

That is how resident Raed Abu al-Qiyan described an Israeli police raid on his village, Umm al-Hiran, in the south of present-day Israel on 18 January.

The police were there to carry out demolition orders against 15 homes in the Palestinian Bedouin village, which the Israeli government aims to evacuate in order to establish a Jewish settlement in its place.

Two killed

A resident of the village and a police officer were killed during the raid.

Israeli police asserted that the resident, Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan, 50, deliberately ran over and killed the officer, 37-year-old Erez Levi.

Video from the scene, including police aerial surveillance footage leaked to Israeli media, and eyewitness testimony challenge this claim.

An analysis by the UK-based research group Forensic Architecture indicates that Abu al-Qiyan was driving slowly and his vehicle only accelerated after he was shot at by police, suggesting he lost control of his car.

In one of the recordings, a single gunshot can be heard after Abu al-Qiyan’s car comes to a stop.

“This last shot is consistent with what the Israeli security personnel calls ‘verification of killing’ – the shooting to kill of already neutralized people,” according to Forensic Architecture.


Several others were injured during the raid, including Ayman Odeh, a Palestinian member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

The deadly demolition raid in Umm al-Hiran comes a week after police destroyed 11 homes in Qalansawa, another Palestinian community in Israel.

The Israeli government has plans to demolish thousands more Palestinian homes in the country.

Video and editing by Keren Manor/Activestills