Israel Police Arrest Suspect in Nahariya Shooting of Vigilante Police Officer

Eldad Hadad, one of the policemen released from prison earlier this year after serving time for avenging known criminal, shot outside his synagogue; police arrest 28-year-old suspect from Nahariya.

One of the Nahariya policemen released from prison earlier this year after serving time for avenging a known criminal was shot Saturday night near the synagogue he normally prays at.

Eldad Hadad was taken to the hospital where he was operated on after he was left in moderate to serious condition following the shooting.

Nehariya police - Eliyahu Hershkowitz
Eliyahu Hershkowitz

Police arrived at the scene of the shooting and are conducting an extensive investigation into the matter. The details of the shooting are still unknown, however police believe that two shooters waited outside the synagogue and shot Hadad after he left evening prayers.

A 28-year-old from Nahariya who is close to known criminal Michael Mor whom Hadad and the other three policemen targeted has been arrested as a suspect, Army Radio reported late Saturday night. The suspect denies the allegations against him.

Hadad and three other Nahariya policemen were released from prison in April in time for the holiday of Passover following a decision by President Shimon Peres and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to shorten their sentence.

The four, convicted of planting a bomb targeting underworld figure Michael Mor, were sentenced to one-year imprisonment. The parole board decided to recommend their release after the completion of two thirds of their sentence. Following the decision, President Peres received a recommendation from the justice minister to see the four released, and a decision was made to free them several days early so they could spend the holiday with their families.

In 2006 the four placed an explosive device under the car and near the window of a home belonging to Mor, in order to avenge a series of incidents in which grenades were thrown at the homes of police officers and public figures in the city. The case drew divided responses, with some criticizing extrajudicial police behavior and others commending them for defending their families.

A February report by the police was significant, sources told Haaretz, in the early parole of the four because it concluded that the police had been unable to deal with the Mor criminal organization because of lack of manpower, expertise and support.