Hadi Kabalan, the security guard who killed Doron Ben Shalush as he passed through a security check entering the Kotel Plaza, is likely to be convicted of first degree murder – and as a result, there is good reason to grant a request by prosecutors to keep Kabalan in prison until a final verdict in the case.
Judge Yoram Noam of the Jerusalem District Court said that while Kabalan's attorneys could request that the court consider releasing their client to house arrest, it was unlikely that the request would be granted.
According to an indictment that was handed down last month against Kabalan for the murder of Ben Shalush in June, the guard was working at a security checkpoint at the entrance to the Kotel with a second guard, Khaled. Both Kabalan and Khaled are Druze. Ben Shalush, who was a daily visitor to the Kotel, underwent a security check conducted by the two. The indictment says that after the check, Ben Shalush began screaming and cursing the Druze community, and left the area.
The two guards were angry, and discussed ways of “getting back” at Ben Shalush. Kabalan at that point asked Khaled and a third guard if they would pay him NIS 1,000 to kill Ben Shalush. After that, Kabalan left the guard booth, stood a few meters away from Ben Shalush, pulled out a pistol, and shot him 14 times. Ben Shalush was critically injured, and died a few minutes later from his wounds.
Kabalan is also accused of evidence tampering. After he was arrested, he managed to get hold of a cell phone and connected with Khaled, asking him to tell police a version of the incident that would make it appear as if he had been acting in self-defense.
The court was likely to reject Kabalan's claims that he felt threatened by Ben Shalush, and thus opened fire at him.
“It appears from the investigative material I have reviewed that this was indeed a case of first degree murder, and that the subject will be convicted of this crime."
"The fact that he fired all 14 bullets in his weapon at the center of the victim's body from close range” will likely be what convicts Kabalan, the judge said.