A Petah Tikva District Court on Sunday convicted police officer Shahar Mizrahi of shooting and killing an Israeli Arab in 2006, after the latter was suspected of breaking into a vehicle in Pardes Hannah.

Mizrahi, who was on the Hadera police force, fatally shot Mahmoud Ganaim, then 24, in July 2006. Police claimed that Ganaim, a resident of Baka al-Garbiya, had tried to run over one of the officers with the stolen car.

However, the victim's cousin, who arrived at the scene after the shooting, said that the car was parked on the side of the road at the time of the shooting.

Hadera investigators had been conducting undercover operations in Pardes Hannah in the wake of multiple reports of break-ins and burglaries, when they allegedly discovered two suspects trying to break into a car.

Police said that one of the officers approached them and identified himself as a policeman. They said that Ganaim began cursing the officer in Arabic, threatening to kill him, and then proceeded to in the car. Police added that officer then pulled his weapon and instructed Ganaim to get out of the car, but that he began driving toward him instead.

Mizrahi had claimed he felt his life was in danger, and that he opened fire in self-defense.