Wadi Atir, Negev/Naqab Desert, Israel/Palestine, 18 January 2017
Shortly before dawn on 18 January 2017, a large police force raided the illegalised Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran at the northern threshold of the Naqab/Negev Desert in order to demolish several houses. Two people were killed: a Bedouin villager, Yaqub Musa Abu al-Qi’an, and an Israeli policeman, Erez Levi. Shortly after the incident, the Israeli government and police claimed the incident was a ‘terror attack’ by Abu al-Qi’an, and further, that he had links to Daesh (ISIS).
Forensic Architecture’s investigation of the incident, in collaboration with the activist group ActiveStills, exposed this false narrative, and established the veracity of local residents and activist claims that Abu al-Qi’an lost control of his vehicle and ran over Levi only after being shot by Israeli policemen, and was subsequently left to bleed out and die.
This analysis forced the police to retract its narrative of the events, and led to an internal police investigation yet to be concluded.
Produced in collaboration with ActiveStills and the village of Umm al-Hiran, with support from the Israeli Communist Party and the Joint Arab List in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset).
Project team: Eyal Weizman (Principal Investigator), Ariel Caine (Project Coordinator), Stefan Laxness, Daniel Mann, William Winfield, Nichola Czyz, Nicholas Masterton, Christina Varvia, Ana Naomi de Sousa
Collaborators: Oren Ziv, Keren Manor, and Yotam Ronen / ActiveStills, John Brown / +972 Magazine, Yeela Raanan / RCUV
Thanks to: Najah Abu al-Qi’an and Raad Abu al-Qi’an