The policeman who shot two Palestinian girls after they attacked passersby with scissors near Jerusalem’s Mahaneh Yehuda market in late November has been questioned by the Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers.
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It 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.
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 at the scene. 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.
“The policeman acted as expected of every member of the Israel Police, confronting the attacker and ending the incident without further casualties,” they said. “In real time the policeman believed that the attackers constituted an immediate threat to life, and he thus sought to neutralize them.
“The policeman’s determined action was carried out, inter alia, out of concerned that the terrorists were hiding explosive belts on their bodies,” the lawyers added.
According to the indictment, the accused’s accomplice told her some three weeks ago that she wanted to attack Jews in revenge for the death of her brother who suffered a head injury during violent clashes with Israeli security forces in 2013 and died of his wounds a year later.
The teens were said to have left their homes the next day with school bags on their shoulders and traveled into town by bus, where they prayed at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount before buying two pairs of scissors to use in their attack.
According to the charge sheet, at around 11 A.M. the relative stabbed a 70-year-old man sitting on a bench in his neck and back. The wounded man fled the scene. The 14-year-old then tried to stab another person, while the accused threatened passersby with her scissors. The victim the accomplice chose, however, had a pistol and shot her. It was then that the policeman arrived at the scene and shot both girls.