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A police officer shot dead a cabdriver in Atlit late Wednesday night, after the cabdriver allegedly tried to run him over.

Police were called to Ofer Gil's home at 10:30 P.M. Wednesday after his wife reported that he had violated a restraining order to stay away from the home.

Two patrol officers arrived and persuaded Gil to leave the place. However, when the officers tried to arrest him, Gil allegedly jumped into his car and tried to run them over.

Officer Aviad Cohen was hit and thrown onto the car hood. He was dragged several hundred meters by the car, holding onto the hood.

Cohen said that when Gil ignored his shouts to stop the car and feeling his life was in danger, he was forced to open fire.

Magen David Adom rescue personnel attempted to resuscitate the 47-year-old man at the scene, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

"I saw the cab speeding up as the policeman was trying to stop it. The cabdriver had probably hit the policeman, and then he shot the driver," a witness said.

Cohen told the Justice Ministry's department for the investigation of police officers, under questioning, that he had drawn his rifle and tried to smash the cab's windshield. When he failed, he broke the driver's window pane and fired nine bullets at Gil's feet, he said. Five of them hit Gil.

Cohen was later released on bail.

Gil's family and wife said the shooting was unnecessary because Gil had stepped away from the apartment and was not endangering anyone when he was killed.

Gil's sister-in-law said her sister's quarrel with Gil was not a violent one but "a routine domestic spat that occurs in every home."

Family members said Gil was not physically violent but used to shout and swear at his wife and children.

"He loved Sarah and the children and wouldn't accept the divorce," his brother said. "He missed them."