Police Free Yitzhar Man They Had Suspected of Killing Arab
Police arrested a 37-year-old man from Yitzhar in Samaria Sunday, and the media trumpeted the suspicion that he had shot and killed an Arab youth two months ago. However, the suspect's attorney - provided by the Honenu legal rights organization - was quick to deny the charges, and said that the man could prove he did not have his gun with him on the day in which the shooting occurred.
Indeed, the man was released from custody a short time later, without any restrictions, apparently because police believe he was telling the truth.
Police initially said the man had been driving his car north of Ofra in Samaria when he drove into an ambush by a group of Arab youths who were standing at the side of the road. The Arabs attacked his car with rocks. Police suspected he then came out of his car, shot one of the youths to death, and resumed driving without reporting the incident.
Yitzhar spokesman Avraham Binyamin said that the police version was false. The man had indeed driven through Wadi Haramiyeh on Highway 60 on the day in question (May 13), and the Arab gang had thrown rocks at him, damaging his car. However, he did not fire at the assailants and proceeded to immediately inform police of the attack, in order to receive official confirmation that his vehicle had been damaged in the attack.
The next day, police received a complaint from Arabs who said that an Arab youth was killed in the incident. However, Binyamin said, the military has never been shown the youth's body and thus cannot know for certain that anyone was indeed killed.
The man works as a security guard but did not have his weapon with him on that day, Binyamin added. He noted that there was ample documentation to prove that the gun was in the possession of another person at the time. Binyamin predicted the suspect would be released posthaste, and this is indeed what happened.