Shalhevet Goldstein, the fiancée of the late Ahuvia Sandak, the young man who was killed by police in Binyamin, arrived at the end of his shiva week at the Tel Aviv police headquarters to collect his tefillin at the request of his family. But police officers, without prior notice, forced her into a three-hour interrogation, made her turn off her cellphone, and hurled harsh insults at her.
“I wanted to take Ahuvia’s tefillin,” Shalhevet related. “The head of the Gush Etzion council, Shlomo Neeman, arranged for us to arrive at the Tel Aviv police station to pick up the tefillin. I was sent the phone number of the commander there, Tzachi. I coordinated with him and arrived at the station. But when I arrived, I was suddenly told: ‘We need a short testimony from you and after that, we’ll give you the tefillin.'”
“I didn’t understand what was happening,” she recalled. “They asked me for my cellphone, I did not agree to give it to them, so they forced me to turn it off. Then they interrogated me for three hours.”
Shalhevet continued: “During the whole interrogation they shouted at me and asked personal questions – how long did you know each other? How often did you meet? What kind of relationship was it, and more. I told them, I beg your pardon, what is it all about, why is it your business? They started attacking me: ‘You’re acting like a criminal, you’re insolent. An interrogator named Assi told me, You are a liar, and there were many more harsh statements, then they also told me vicious things about Ahuvia, that he was mean, stingy, a gangbanger, rude, and other things, really put both of us down. In the end, I was taken out and they refused to give the tefillin, only after a while they agreed to give it to me. It was a truly difficult and unpleasant experience.”
Honenu attorney Adi Keidar said that “in recent days there has been a very disturbing escalation in the police investigation. If until now the police have whitewashed the case and showed sympathy and bias in favor of the offending officers, now the police are starting to discredit the late Ahuvia and everyone around him including his fiancée, family, and friends. In this way, the police and the investigators try to abuse and harass, a dangerous phenomenon that shows yet another tier in this biased investigation that should be stopped.”
The incident began after the Samaria and Judea District Police received several reports of a vehicle from which young people were throwing stones at Arab vehicles, on a road near the settlement of Kochav Hashahar in Binyamin. The policemen, including two officers and detectives from the district police who were engaged in another activity, arrived at the scene and set up a roadblock, but, according to them, the youths did not follow their instructions and bypassed the roadblock. At this point, the chase began. The police, according to their version, tried to overtake the youths’ vehicle several times but were unsuccessful. At one point, according to police, in one of their attempts, the police vehicle collided with the other car, and the incident ended in tragedy.
Attorneys Nati Rom and Adi Keidar, representing the injured in the accident on behalf of Honenu, accused police investigators of trying to roll over responsibility for Ahuvia’s death on his friends who were with him in the vehicle. “This is a terrible and disturbing case of a whitewash,” the attorneys said. “It’s incredible. The cops hit a vehicle, killing a boy, there’s a complaint of murder against the police, and the police are throwing it at boys instead of taking responsibility. We might as well close down the police. Apart from the shame and moral degradation, there’s also obstruction of an investigation here, and criminal conduct at the highest levels of the police. We will not remain silent, nor will we stop until justice is served.”