Be'er Sheva car-ramming suspect claims being threatened

In recent social media post, suspect seen complaining about being targeted with racist abuse as police show little interest, calls on Bedouins to 'be prepared for any threat'

Ilana Curiel|
A driver involved in Thursday morning's car-ramming attack in Be’er Sheva filmed himself days prior complaining to the police that he was being threatened.
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  • The suspect, a 39-year-old resident of the Bedouin city of Rahat, allegedly veered his vehicle off the road and struck an 18-year-old military boarding school student who was wearing uniforms at the time, moderately wounding him.
    3 View gallery
    החשוד באירוע הדריסה בבאר שבע
    החשוד באירוע הדריסה בבאר שבע
    Be'er Sheva car-ramming attack suspect
    In the social media post, the suspect is heard claiming that an unknown individual had made threats against him, saying “Bedouins should leave Be’er Sheva.”
    “If you respect us – we’ll respect you. If you won’t, you’ll suffer. This isn’t a threat, but we’re willing to give up our life for our honor,” the suspect says in the video.
    “I call on you, Bedouins, you have to be prepared for every threat, so that everyone keeps himself safe. We’re being threatened in this racist country.
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    תאונת דרכים בין רכב להולך רגל בבאר שבע
    תאונת דרכים בין רכב להולך רגל בבאר שבע
    Impact marks on suspect's vehicle
    (Photo: Magen David Adom)
    Someone who threatens you with murder, calls you a 'terrorist' or 'Palestinian' and says 'we’ll kick you out of Be’er Shava', this is what people say to me. And the police investigate the case as if I was the attacker. They let the guy who threatened me get off scot-free and told me to stay away from Be’er Sheva.
    Bedouins, you should all be careful. No one should wait to be threatened like I did, and no one should wait for the police. Do whatever you want, like the ones who take the law into their own hands because they feel like [Otzma Yehudit chief Itamar] Ben-Gvir supports them. No one can scare the Bedouins living in Be’er Sheva and the Negev.”
    In another video the suspect posted on social media, he is seen confronting the man he filed a complaint against — a Jewish Be’er Sheva resident — as the two are being questioned by the cops. The suspect claimed the Jewish man threatened him with a gun, while the other said that the suspect was “a lying Arab”.
    Meanwhile, the suspect is being questioned by the police and Shin Bet, who continue to investigate whether the car-ramming attack was fueled by nationalist sentiment. After being discharged from the hospital and before his arrest, the suspect claimed that he lost control of his vehicle and the crash was an accident.
    Footage from the incident shows the vehicle the suspect was driving jumping a curb, speeding toward the man and throwing him into the air. The police said that the vehicle continued driving after hitting the man until it stopped shortly after.
    3 View gallery
    תאונת דרכים בין רכב להולך רגל בבאר שבע
    תאונת דרכים בין רכב להולך רגל בבאר שבע
    EMTs at the scene of attack in Be'er Sheva
    (Photo: Hatzalah Beer Sheva)
    Negev District Police Station chief Assistant Commissioner Nachshon Nagler confirmed to Ynet that a preliminary investigation showed that the run-over was deliberate, but could not yet determine with certainty the background was either nationalist or criminal.
    "At this stage, we're not ruling out any direction. Police officers who were in the area as part of the increased security preparedness noticed the event and gave the young man medical treatment," he said.
    "There is a very large deployment of the police throughout the country and in the Negev as well. We ask the public to be vigilant." He added.
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