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palestinian police 'execute' cars involved in road

  1. Snooker

    5,748 posts.
    Jan. 12, 2003
    Palestinian police 'execute' cars involved in road accidents
    By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

    The Palestinian Authority has invented a new method for combating traffic accidents. Cars involved in serious accidents would be "executed" in public and the drivers would be sent to prison immediately.

    The new punishment is already being implemented in Tulkarm, where the first guilty car was "executed" on Saturday.

    Murad Yasin, a local journalist, said Palestinian policemen, who have resumed their work in Tulkarm, seized a 1993 model Subaru that was involved in an accident in which a young boy was injured. The policemen discovered that the car had been stolen in Israel and carried forged license plates.

    The driver was taken into custody, where it transpired that he wasn't carrying proper documents for insurance and licensing. The man himself had a driver's license.

    On the instructions of the Tulkarm police commander, the Subaru was taken to an open field where plainclothes policemen set it on fire. The news of the "execution" of the car was broadcast on local television stations and residents were warned against using unlicensed vehicles.

    "The police have taken a decision to burn any car that does not have official license plates and documents," said Col. Awni Samarah, commander of the Tulkarm civilian police force. He said this would be the fate of all cars involved in car accidents where people are hurt or killed.

    Palestinian policemen have reappeared in the streets of Tulkarm and other West Bank cities after obtaining permission from Israel. The policemen are barred from wearing their blue uniforms or from carrying weapons, according to an understanding between the PA and Israel.

    The Palestinian police force stopped operating in the West Bank in April 2000, when the IDF re-entered most Palestinian cities. But following an unprecedented upsurge in crime, PA Chairman Yasser Arafat issued instructions to revive the work of the civilian police.

    Plainclothes policemen have been patrolling the streets of Jenin, Tulkarm, and Nablus since last week. The policemen are working in coordination with local municipalities and residents' committees.

    Palestinians said the unprecedented decision to "execute" vehicles in Tulkarm was taken in the aftermath of a rise in road accidents in the city, home to some 40,000 inhabitants. A number of people, particularly children, have been killed or injured over the past few weeks by reckless drivers using stolen and unlicensed cars in the city.

    Samarah said Sunday that drivers involved in car accidents in Tulkarm would be arrested immediately and put on trial in order to deter potential offenders. He noted that the capital punishment for vehicles was the outcome of many complaints filed by residents. Sources in the city told The Jerusalem Post that the city has been flooded lately with cars stolen from Israel.

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