'I thought the terrorists were dead already'

Ashi Horowitz, member of the Hevron emergency response team, testified today for the defense at the Elor Azariya trial in Yafo.

Yoel Domb ,

Elor Azariya
Elor Azariya
Flash 90

The case of Elor Azariya, the soldier who shot a wounded terrorist in Hevron, continues today (Tuesday) at the military court in Yafo.

The defense team called Ashi Horovitz from Hevron, who was present at the scene of the incident, to the stand. He described the series of events:

"I thought the terrorists were dead until I heard the shouts of my comrades in the area's emergency response team shouting, 'careful, he's moving! It's a real possibility that he's wearing explosives, nobody get close to him, he can explode here on all of us!'" Horovitz related.

Horowitz, a resident of the Jewish community of Hevron who directs the tourism department in Hevron, is also a member of the emergency response team in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood.

"We arrive at incidents in Hevron first and hook up with IDF forces. I know about all the incidents occurring in the city. Almost on a daily basis, there are stabbings, shootings, kidnapping warnings, charges, stone-throwings," Horovitz testified.

He explained that "from our point of view, as long as the 'back to normal' directive has not been given, the incident is not over; there were numerous incidents in Hevron which developed in all sorts of ways."

"When I heard our soldier shooting, I breathed a sigh of relief. At least that threat was behind us now. The terrorist was wearing clothes which were totally unsuited to the weather."

Horowitz described what happened at the scene of the attack which culminated in Azariya shooting at the terrorist. "As the incident unfolded, Ofer Ohana's ambulance arrived first in order to evacuate the wounded soldier. After that the second ambulance of Elimelech Karzan arrived."

"There was shouting and confusion there.. there was a real concern that the incident was not over, that the terrorist had not been eliminated and was still moving. There were shouts and warnings which could be heard clearly and can be heard on the camera recordings. Our members of the emergency response team, who have a lot of experience in these situations, were warning the soldiers and civilians not to approach the terrorist. After that, I had my back turned to the incident.

"There were many soldiers in the vicinity of the terrorists. I was observing the evacuation of the wounded soldier." said Horovitz.

At this point Horowitz heard a gunshot. "I was concerned that the incident had become more complicated. I asked one of my friends what was going on, and they told me that one of the soldiers had eliminated the terrorist who was still moving. When I heard that it was our soldier who shot [and not the terrorist], I breathed a sigh of relief that the incident was over."

He maintains that the terrorist did not intend to escape alive from the site of the attack. "I start from an assumption that such a person would want to cause the maximum damage he possibly could. There was a definite will and intention on his part and it seemed to us very suspicious."

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