In an interview Thursday morning, the Border Police officer who killed an Arab terrorist in Hevron Wednesday said that she shot the terrorist because she feared a fellow officer would be killed by the terrorist. The officer, N, said that the terrorist had aimed his gun at the head of a fellow officer, and that when he failed to respond to orders to drop his weapon, she shot the terrorist.
An initial investigation into the incident shows that security officials near the Machpelah Cave in Hevron had spotted the 17 year old Arab, Muhammah Salima, acting strangely. Officers asked him for identification, and he produced an ID card. He then pulled out a gun and began waving it around, eventually pointing it at the head of one of the officers. A fellow officer who was stationed at the site pulled her weapon and demanded that Salima drop his. When he refused, she shot him. Salima was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Police seized Salima's weapon, which was found not to contain any bullets. Nevertheless, N said in the interview, there was no way she could have known that. “We were doing security checks on individuals coming into the Machpelah Cave, and Salima wanted to enter the cave,” N said in the interview. “We asked for his ID, which he produced, and then I saw him draw his gun and start to wave it around. I immediately left my post and saw that Salima was aiming his gun at one officer. I acted as would be expected. We are expected to protect and serve, and the life of my comrade was in danger.” Salima was no innocent youth, N. added.
In a statement, the Border Police said that “a weapons crew discovered that the gun was incapable of firing. An investigation into the incident has been opened.”
After the incident, Arabs in the area rioted, throwing rocks and stones at IDF soldiers and border guards. The Palestinian Authority said it planned to charge N with murder at the International Criminal Court.