IDF Soldier Shoots Two People in His Arab Hometown – Two Weeks After His Weapon Was Confiscated

The soldier, who also attacked three other people with an ax, was interrogated two weeks earlier and his weapon was taken from him after he used it to attack two vehicles

File photo: The entrance to the village of Fassuta, 2006
Yaron Kaminski

An Israeli soldier shot two residents of his hometown of Fassuta (an Arab town located near Israel's border with Lebanon) and attacked three others with an ax, some two weeks after he violently attacked two vehicles, breaking their windows with his weapon. 

The two people the soldier shot were lightly injured and were given medical care at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. 

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The Israeli military police confiscated the soldier's weapon following the first incident, but he was released after being interrogated by security forces. 

The Israeli army said that the fact the soldier's personal weapon was returned to him and that he was allowed to take it home with him was ''an incident."

The IDF spokesperson’s office has not yet responded to queries as to why the soldier was reissued a weapon after that previous incident, and what measures would be taken following the later assaults.

Attorney Edgar Dakwar, head of Fassuta’s local council, told Haaretz that he doesn’t know “how someone who deliberately causes damage and threatens people on Facebook was released from custody. He walked around town and shot people as though there was nothing that could stop him.”

Dakwar said that during the local elections the atmosphere was heated on Facebook and that the soldier and his mother were involving in stormy posts on social media. The council met on Saturday to try and ease the tensions.

“Fassuta is a quiet town,” Dakwar aid. “We are not used to such phenomena, it’s a singular sort of occurrence and we don’t want it to continue. We condemn the attacks, send our best wishes to the wounded and issue a call for brotherhood.”

The Israel Police said that "officers who were dispatched to scene confiscated the weapon and arrested the mother of the suspect as well as a friend of his who are both suspected of involvement in the 
incidents. Early in the morning the soldier came to a police station, where he was arrested."

The Israeli army later stated: "The issue will be thoroughly investigated and handled by the commanders according to the results of the probe. Initial findings indicate that there was a malfunction in transferring  information about the soldier when he was moved between units.