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Honenu reports: Ben-Tzion HY”D, Family: ‘They Told Us Fabricated Stories’

abtOn Monday, 9 Kislev 5775, Avi Ben-Tzion, a resident of the Jordan Valley, was critically injured at the Migdalim (Alon) Intersection in the Shomron in what the police have classified as a vehicular theft and others, including his family, insist is a nationalistically motivated terror attack.

The following day Ben-Tzion succumbed to his injuries. His family held a press conference on Sunday, 29 Kislev and announced their campaign to have Ben-Tzion’s murder recognized as a nationalistically motivated terror attack. The family revealed that they have findings which contradict the version of events publicized by the police.

The police and the ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet) announced that the motivation for the attack was criminal. Three Arabs have been detained on suspicion of carrying out the attack.

David Elchiani, Head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, Shlomo Vaknin, the chief security officer of the Yesha Council, and Honenu attorney Hur Uriel Nizri participated in the press conference with the family.

Avi Ben-Tzion’s daughter, Revital, said, “Approximately three weeks ago our world was turned upside down. Every time I wake up I can’t believe that this nightmare is what I am living. Dad was our anchor, to Mom and to my sisters. Dad was a warm man, an energetic man who smiled as he helped. He was active in his youth movement, was a company commander in the Golani Brigade, was an ardent agriculturalist who employed Palestinians for 40 years and believed in co-existence. I do not understand how this happened particularly to him and to us.

“The police and the ISA are still investigating, but we have heard testimonies which do not allow us to calm down. How many car thefts end in murder? If their only intent was to take the car my Dad would still be with us.” Revital added that, “Lately we have heard of various incidents which were initially labeled as criminal acts and ended up being recognized as nationalistically motivated acts. It sounds as if someone is trying to hide evidence and cover up what happened. We have started a campaign because it is important to us that the murderers receive the penalty they deserve, and that the State responds properly. People are exposed to dangers everywhere in the country. Today it [happened to] our family and tomorrow it could be yours.”

Ben-Tzion’s widow Niva revealed that according to the information which the family has the murderers definitely tried to kill Avi and then after leaving him on the ground drove his car over him in reverse. Niva Ben-Tzion: “The Israeli Police did not speak to us for two weeks and when they finally came to us they claimed that it was a criminal incident. They told us fabricated stories which do not match the findings. All of our friends, all of our relatives and neighbors are supporting us and we will not be quiet or rest until the truth is revealed.”

The Head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, David Elchiani called for re-opening the investigation and waiting to issue the indictment until an additional examination of the new findings is carried out. “In light of the new findings I call on all of the relevant authorities to take the investigation into their hands and to order the re-opening of the investigation and to recognize the murder as nationalistically motivated.” Elchiani said that he had spoken with the Minister of Defense and high-ranking military authorities and they all told him that it was a nationalistically motivated murder. “How did it happen that that suddenly changed?”

Honenu attorney Hur Uriel Nizri, who is representing the family, said, “We have heard several versions of the incident. In our opinion this is a nationalistically motivated murder, and we will act at every level in order to ensure that the authorities recognize it as such.” Nizri mentioned the recent Netanel Arami murder case which was recognized as a terror attack following a campaign led by Arami’s family with the assistance of Honenu.

Shlomo Vaknin, the chief security officer of the Yesha Council, described the nationalistic characteristics of the car-jacking phenomenon. “For many years we have been warning about the danger of carjackings. Only two years ago there was a similar incident of an attempt to stop a car between Ofra and Beit El. It was proven that terrorists were [the perpetrators]. One must not refer to this as robbery. The reality in Yehuda and Shomron in which they [terrorists] harm Jews, and only Jews, proves this. If their desire is for a sophisticated car then there are many cars, but they do not dare to do this to Palestinians, only to Israelis.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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