Israeli Public Security Minister 'Troubled' by Probe of Officer Who Shot Teen Palestinian Attacker

Cop investigated in wake of 'complaints that he shot [16-year-old] terrorist although she posed no danger,' says AG, in first type probe in current terror wave.

Image of policeman shooting suspected terrorist from November stabbing in Jerusalem
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Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said he was "troubled" Monday by the Justice Ministry’s police investigation unit's decision to question an officer who shot a Palestinian girl after she attacked passersby with scissors during a November attack. "We must support security forces," Erdan said Monday.

"I cannot understand why we try to judge out security forces for split-second decision they have to make during terror attacks, as if it was a laboratory and it is clear at every instance what weapon or explosive terrorists have on their bodies, and if they have run out of energy or can still stab anyone who nears them."

Michal Fattal

Nonetheless, the minister stressed that he respected the authority of the Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers, but expressed hope that this "investigation will end quickly and the case shut, because we must support security forces put their bodies on the line to save us time and time again."

The probe is the first time during this current wave of terror that a policeman is being questioned for shooting a suspect at the scene of a terror attack.

Footage of the November 2015 attack in Jerusalem

In the November 23 incident, one girl, a 16-year-old from Kafr Aqab in East Jerusalem, was injured, while her relative, aged 14, was shot to death near Jerusalem’s Mahaneh Yehuda market after attempting a stabbing attack with scissors.

Although the policeman fired at both girls he is being investigated only for the shooting of the injured girl, who was charged Friday with two counts of attempted murder and possession of a deadly weapons by the Jerusalem District Juvenile Court. She and her relative wounded two people, including a 70-year-old Palestinian man, before they were shot.

The Justice Ministry said Sunday that the policeman, who serves in a sappers unit, was being investigated at the behest of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, due to “complaints to the effect that he shot the terrorist although she posed no danger.”

The policeman countered that he shot the girl because he believed the danger had not yet passed.

The policeman’s attorney said in a statement that their client had arrived at the scene after the two terrorists had wounded passersby.