Israel Police Officer Kills Palestinian During Attempted Robbery in Tel Aviv

Off-duty cop shoots and kills suspected car thief; police investigators are investigating the incident.

A Tel Aviv District policeman shot and killed a Palestinian man who was allegedly attempting to break into a car in north Tel Aviv early Thursday morning.

According to the policeman, he was on his way home after the end of his shift when he saw two men attempting to break into a car parked on Yakov Mark Street in north Tel Aviv's Hadar Yosef neighborhood.

The policeman said he ordered the men to freeze, at which point they both began to flee.

According to the policeman, he chased after one of them and when he caught up with him, the man turned around holding a knife in his hand. The policeman then pulled out his weapon and shot the man in his torso.  

Minutes later, police and internal affairs investigators arrived on the scene.

The Palestinian man, a resident of the West Bank city of Tul Karm, died from his wounds.

Itamar Eliyahu, a yeshiva student who witnessed the incident, told Haaretz, "We heard a man yelling at another man to freeze. A few seconds later, we saw the same cop shooting at the man, who was running away. The cop called the police, yelling, 'I shot him, he's dead, he's dead.' A few minutes later, additional police cars arrived."

Police are currently conducting two investigations into the incident: a criminal investigation of the attempted break-in as well as an investigation of the policeman and his version of events.

In September 2010, a police officer shot and killed a car thief in north Tel Aviv. The thief, Hazem Abu Eldbaat, was handcuffed and lying on his stomach when he was shot. Rotzon Boreh, the policeman who shot him, claimed that the bullet that killed him was shot by mistake. Eldbaat's friends, however, claimed that he was shot on purpose.