Daily Israel Report

Police Acknowledge Shooting in Self-Defense, then Arrest Shooter

Police agents without search warrants raided a Gush Etzion home, ultimately arresting M. for a self-defense shooting of an Arab six months ago.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 6/16/2011, 10:52 AM / Last Update: 6/16/2011, 10:38 AM

IDF video

Police agents without search warrants raided a home in Alon Shvut (Gush Etzion) this morning, and ultimately arrested M., 27, for a self-defense shooting of an Arab attacker six months ago.

The police burst into various rooms of the house, including where females were sleeping, searching for M. He was not home, but they returned three hours later – this time with a search warrant – and confiscated his passport.

The police then phoned M. and instructed him to come to the police station - and there he learned that he stands accused of killing an Arab near Yitzhar in the Shomron.

The shooting took place six months ago, at which time it was reported that both the police and IDF agreed that it was carried out in necessary self-defense. Despite this, over the ensuring months the police invested great resources in finding the shooter – and their efforts were crowned with success this morning.

As can be seen in this video, taken by an IDF surveillance camera and released by the IDF, two Arabs attacked M., who was alone, with rocks from very close range. After his warning shots in the air failed to deter them, and after he tried to run from them, he was forced to shoot one of the attackers.

The Arabs later reported that the attacker was killed.

Immediately after the incident, both the IDF and the police announced that the Jew had clearly been under attack and that his response was one of necessary self-defense. Nevertheless, the police made many arrests over the past few months and confiscated many Jewish-owned guns in the hope of finding the shooter. 

After finally hitting paydirt, the police informed M.’s legal counsel, Atty. Ariel Atari that they would request an extension of his custody for several days. However, in the event, the police agreed to his release to house arrest until Sunday morning. M. also received legal counsel from the Honenu civil rights organization

Responses
“The police announced at the time,” Atari said before M.'s release, “that this was a case of self-defense, as the video shows, and therefore this arrest is peculiar and totally unjustified.”

Honenu issued this statement: “Nearly every day we encounter incidents in which soldiers and civilians find themselves under [Arab] attack or otherwise in danger. Unfortunately, this is not the first time in which Jews who were attacked are interrogated and arrested, even though they clearly acted out of self-defense.”

MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said, “Instead of giving him a medal for deterring terrorists, they arrest and harass him – even though if he wouldn’t have fired, we would have had to go to his funeral.”