Bereaved families ask High Court to reopen probe into 2005 attack on Arab town
An IDF deserter, Eden Natan-Zada opened fire on a bus in Shfaram in 2005, killing four people and was subsequently beaten to death by an angry crowd.
Families of the victims of the 2005 attack on the Druze village of Shfaram by IDF soldier Eden Natan Zada petitioned the High Court on Wednesday against the State Attorney’s Office asking to reopen the investigation into the incident.
A nineteen-year-old IDF deserter who lived in the West Bank settlement of Tapuach, Natan-Zada arrived in Shfaram's Druze neighborhood and opened fire with an IDF M-16 rifle on a bus, killing a bus driver and three passengers.
After the attack, Natan-Zada was beaten to death by an angry crowd. Seven indictments on charges of attempted murder were served on suspected perpetrators of the lynch, who are residents of Shfaram. Their trial is still ongoing.
The bereaved families are opposed to the State Attorney Office’s decision to close the case file as they believe that Natan-Zeda had accomplices. The petitioners are requesting the High Court hand over the findings of the Shin Bet security services investigation into the attack.
The findings of the Shin Bet and the police, published in June 2006, concluded that Natan-Zada acted alone. Although the Shin Bet suspected that some of the Tapuach residents knew of his plans prior to the attack, they found no evidence against them. The IDF undertook a parallel investigation as to how early warning signs of the danger presented by Natan-Zada went undetected.
Maher Telhama, the lawyer representing the petitioning families said that the families “are not satisified” with the Attorney General’s office’s decision that Natan-Zada acted alone. The families want to see the results of other investigations into the incident that they claim have not been shared with them.
“The attack in Shfaram was the first price tag incident against the Arab population in Israel,” Telhama said.
In 2007, Ahmad Al-heib, an ex-convict who had shared a cell with Natan-Zada in the military prison at Tzrifin from March to May 2005, told a Nazareth newspaper that Natan-Zeda had links with extreme right-wing groups. “He told me ‘This is an Arab, this is a terrorist, I want to kill him,” he told the paper.
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