Following a police announcement regarding the arrest of the Bedouin owner of a herd of camels that was found wandering unattended near Kibbutz Hatzerim, some five miles west of Beersheba in the Negev desert – and the confiscation of the herd – the Regavim movement has issued a press release blasting police for their blatant negligence over a long period of time.
“The writing was on the road,” opens the Regavim statement, which claims that the Bedouin who was finally picked up by police is “an habitual criminal whose herd of camels was involved in the death of the late David Cohen, as well as, most likely, Michal Ventura.”
Ali al-As’am (71), a Bedouin from Tel Sheva, was arrested Monday, and police suspect it was his unattended camels who walked into those two fatal accidents and caused many other calamities.
Israel Police data indicate that from 2008 until mid-2015, a whopping 7,151 complaints were received regarding unattended camels wandering along and on the highways in the southern district, averaging about 1,000 complaints each year. And yet police has been unable to track down the herd owners and prevent the killing of David Cohen, 33, principal of a pre-military school, who drove into a camel in December 2014, and Michal Ventura, who met a similar fate in May 2016.
Since 2011 there have been 14 car accidents involving camels, in which 19 people were injured and two killed. In addition, between 2008 and 2010 there were 59 road accidents involving “animals,” but police was unable to obtain information as to the type of animals.
In total, at least 73 road accidents have occurred as a result of injury to wandering animals during the 6.5-year period last examined by police.
Police noted that the difficulty in locating camel owners whose animals were involved in accidents stems from the fact that the identification tags on the camels’ ears are cut and destroyed in most cases by the owners before police examiners arrive at the scene of an accident. This way the Bedouin are able to craftily prevent the identification of the owners and they don’t face justice.
It should be noted that in those accidents where the owner of the camel involved was located, it was always a Jewish motorist who arrived on the scene and had the resourcefulness to collect the identification tag from the carcass before the evidence were destroyed.
According to Regavim, police in the past accepted al-As’am’s claim that he had sold his camel that killed David before the accident, ignoring the fact that al-As’am is a serial offender who has been arrested several times by the authorities because of his wandering herd.
“As a result of police negligence, al-As’am’s was not brought to justice, and we call for the reopening of the investigation files and the full implementation of the law. Human life can’t be abandoned,” stated Regavim.