The police misconduct unit announced Thursday it has closed an investigation into a Jerusalem police officer over his fatal shooting of a Palestinian who carried out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, which as reported on Wednesday had been recently reopened five years after the case against the officer was closed.
Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit had decided to reopen the case at the request of the family of the Palestinian, 19-year-old Fadi Alloun of Jerusalem’s Isawiyah neighborhood, as reported earlier on Thursday by the public broadcaster Kan.
On Wednesday, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana spoke with the officer, who had received a commendation for his response to the 2015 stabbing attack near the Damascus Gate, in which Alloun attacked a young Jewish man. In their conversation this week, Ohana gave the policeman his backing.
After Gaza, an Israeli-Palestinian struggle for identity: Aluf Benn, Noa Landau and Anshel Pfeffer
Following the stabbing, a number of police officers chased Alloun. The policeman now under investigation shot him several times, killing him. Following the incident, it was alleged that Alloun had presented no immediate threat to the lives of those in the area when he was shot. In film footage from the scene, onlookers can be heard urging the officer to shoot Alloun.
The police misconduct unit opened a probe into the case but closed it without questioning the officer after it was determined that he had acted in accordance with standing procedure.
In 2016, the prosecutor’s office declined a request to reopen the case filed on behalf of Alloun’s family by the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights.
Prosecutors said Alloun was shot “after he had approached the policeman while brandishing a knife in his hand” and that “the decision [to shoot] was taken out of immediate necessity and based on impressions in keeping with the reality of the situation – a terrorist who had tried to murder and would have continued to endanger the public if he had not been neutralized.”
- Israel Police refused to release body of killed Palestinian to family for autopsy before burial
- Leahy asks Kerry to investigate if U.S. aid contributes to Israeli 'human rights violations'
- Why Israel's unwritten 'shoot to kill' policy is so dangerous
After its request was denied, Adalah appealed to Attorney General Mendelblit, who ordered that the officer be questioned. The investigation was conducted about two weeks ago and included the gathering of testimony from other police officers at the scene.
Itzik Cohen, the lawyer representing the unidentified police officer, said in response that his client had acted with “determination and courage” against a terrorist who was moving toward him with a knife.
“Thanks to his courage, the terrorist was eliminated and prevented from continuing to attack Jews,” Cohen said. “Questioning him under caution [as a suspect] does damage to every police officer in the organization and will deter the police from performing their duties in the future. I sincerely hope that this case ends quickly with a correct decision to close the investigation, which shouldn’t have been opened at all.”