Newly discovered footage of a terrorist attack perpetrated by an Israel Defense Forces soldier in the Arab town of Shfaram five years ago indicates that authorities were aware of plans to commit the attack, a lawyer representing Israeli Arabs suspected of taking part in the subsequent lynching of the gunman said Sunday.
In August 2005, Eden Natan-Zada opened fire in a passenger bus in Shfaram with his army-issued M-16 assault rifle, killing four. Immediately following the attack, a large crowd gathered around the bus, surrounding the gunman and beating him to death.
Last year, prosecutors charged 12 individuals with taking part in the lynching of Natan-Zada, a move that ignited criticism from the Israeli-Arab community.
An attorney representing some of the lynch suspects recently became aware of the existence of the aerial footage which was taken moments before, during and after the attack.
The lawyer, Maher Talhami, said the cameras followed the trail of the bus in which Natan-Zada rode in entering Shfaram. Immediately after the attack, the footage shows angry mobs gathering at the scene.
Talhami argues that the camera's focus on the bus suggests that authorities were aware of the impending attack. The lawyer obtained the footage while combing through the evidence gathered in the case.
According to Talhami, the unmanned aerial vehicle flew at an altitude of three kilometers over the town and was filming just as Natan-Zada's bus entered Shfaram.
The footage shows the bus until the moment of the attack, which took place at 5:22 P.M. Police helicopters then hovered over the scene of the attack and continued filming.
Talhami said the timing of the filming indicates that defense officials knew of Natan-Zada's plan to perpetrate the attack.
"We are talking about video shot by a drone," Talhami said. "Obviously not every private individual or civilian agent operates a drone on his own volition."
"The method of surveillance of the bus proves that there was early information available to the defense establishment," Talhami said.
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