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Iyad Azbarka
Family of suspected car thief shot by soldiers alleges 'murder in cold blood'
Uncle of Iyad Azbarka, who was shot and killed by IDF soldiers after ramming into a bus stop in an apparently stolen vehicle, says nephew summarily executed after 'field trial', family to sue state until all soldiers involved are prosecuted; soldiers claimed they felt their lives were at risk, thought incident was terror attack.
The family of Iyad Azbarka of Qalansawe, who was shot and killed Tuesday by IDF soldiers in the West Bank's Giti Avisar intersection, said the young man was "murdered in cold blood after a field trial. He did not pose a risk to anyone's life."

 

 

Azbarka, 27, was killed after crashing into a bus stop driving what turned out to be a stolen vehicle. Soldiers said that due to the crash's impact they thought it was a terrorist attack, prompting them to shoot at the suspected terrorist.

 

"Iyad was shot with six bullets," said Musa Azbarka, the deceased's uncle. "Two of them hit his head."

 

Iyad Azbarka was shot and killed by IDF soldiers while driving a stolen vehicle
Iyad Azbarka was shot and killed by IDF soldiers while driving a stolen vehicle

 

Iyad's uncle further claimed that the family—all "law-abiding academics", he claimed—was not presented with any proof to corroborate the soldiers' claims.

 

"We don't even know whether the vehicle was truly stolen. He didn't even have a driver's license. Why didn't they shoot him in the leg if he posed no risk? And supposing he did steal a car, should all car thieves be killed?" he accused.

 

"Iyad opened a clothing store in Tayibe and was planning to marry soon," his uncle added, clarifying that the "family intends to sue the state until all of the soldiers are prosecuted."

 

He concluded by saying his nephew did not receive medical attention on the scene, but was "simply left there to die."

 

Iyad's uncle, Musa Azbarka, said his nephew was executed after a 'field trial'
Iyad's uncle, Musa Azbarka, said his nephew was executed after a 'field trial'

 

IDF: Inquiry into incident underway

The incident took place Tuesday morning, when Azbarka crashed into a bus stop in a car suspected to be stolen due to having Israeli license plates. He was blocked by the concrete poles surrounding the bus stop, which are intended to protect Israelis from attempted car attacks.

 

The combat soldiers from the Kfir Brigade present at the scene who shot Azbarka said in an initial inquiry that they felt their lives were in danger and that the accident was a terror attack, saying they only later discovered the incident's criminal undertones.

 

The scene of the crash (Photo: Rescuers Without Borders)
The scene of the crash (Photo: Rescuers Without Borders)

 

Nevertheless, the reason for the soldiers shooting Azbarka after he disembarked from the vehicle and began attempting to flee the scene will be questioned.

 

The IDF said that, "A stolen vehicle was pursued, ending with the driver ramming a bus stop, leaving the vehicle and fleeing on foot. Soldiers standing nearby noticed the suspect and fired at him. The driver received medical attention on-site and later succumbed to his wounds. The incident is being questioned."

 


First published: 04.05.18, 22:47
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