Police officers slam Jerusalem chief's ignorance about yeshiva attack
Officers say J'lem district chief unable to answer many of the questions he was asked about last week's terror attack.
Police officers on Tuesday criticized the results of the initial investigation into last week's terror attack at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, in which eight students were killed, as presented by Jerusalem District Police chief Aharon Franco to senior commanders on Monday.
Franco spent only a few minutes going over the incident, and according to senior officers, he was unable to answer many of the questions he was asked about it.
Franco emphasized in the meeting that the district's investigation is ongoing and will only be completed in another few days.
An officer who attended Monday's meeting said Tuesday that that the incident report raised questions about its timeline, from the terrorist's entry into the yeshiva until his death. In addition, Franco was unable to end another mystery: Where did David Shapira, the Israel Defense Forces officer who killed the terrorist, obtain the police detective's cap he wore inside the yeshiva?
Police officers had been saying that Shapira got the hat from the first police officer to reach the scene, who decided not to confront the terrorist. But in Monday's meeting it became clear that Shapira had been wearing a special detective's cap, not a regular uniformed-officer's hat.
Franco was unable to explain whether Shapira got the hat from the patrol officer or perhaps from a second officer, a detective who was at the scene but who, like the patrol officer, also declined to confront the terrorist.
The behavior of the patrol officer, who waited at the yeshiva entrance while the terrorist continued to shoot at the students, was criticized by the officers at the meeting. "Franco said the officer explained that he preferred to 'freeze the situation,' in police lingo, to prevent civilians from entering," one officer said. "But the officer's approach was simply wrong and unprofessional. If civilians are being shot inside the yeshiva, an officer can't stand outside and not go in. It is unacceptable for a police officer to behave in that manner during a terror attack," he said.
A statement issued by the Jerusalem District Police on Tuesday said that no comment on the remarks would be forthcoming. "Franco briefed senior commanders about what was known up to that time about the incident. The investigation of the attack is still ongoing and its conclusions will be presented only after it is completed."