Ezra: Police to Investigate Circumstances of Eden Zada?s Death

Min. of Internal Security, Gidon Ezra, has ordered an investigation into the circumstances of Zada’s death. Zada, who murdered four Arabs on a bus in Shfar’am last week, was killed by an Arab mob.

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Scott Shiloh, | updated: 19:42

Zada was the AWOL (Absent With-Out Leave) Israeli soldier who last Thursday opened fire inside a bus, killing four Israeli Arabs. A mob of Arabs which stormed the bus, lynched and killed Zada afterward.

Zada reportedly was killed after he had been seized by police and handcuffed. Minister Ezra said that a situation in which Zada had been attacked by a mob after he was caught and subdued “was very serious and will be investigated.”

The mob also attacked the police officer who subdued Zada. Ezra said the persons who attacked the officer would be arrested.

Another 26 policemen were wounded in rioting that followed the incident.

Arab leaders have called on the government to refrain from investigating the circumstances of Zada’s death. Shavki Hativ, chairman of a committee of Arab leaders, has claimed that reports of Zada being lynched after his capture were false. However, Shfar’am’s security officer, Jamal Aliam, told Army radio that Zada was attacked by dozens of Arabs after he had been handcuffed and subdued.

MK Mohammed Barakeh warned of new protests if Zada’s lynching would be investigated. Barakeh claims that Zada was killed in order to prevent him from continuing his killing rampage.

Ezra distinguished between those who acted to prevent further shooting and those who attacked Zada after he was subdued. Ezra said he would not prosecute the first group, who were performing their duty. Ezra said those who attacked Zada after he was subdued acted illegally and would be investigated. He said that attacking police officers at the scene was “totally illegitimate.”