Border Police officer Barel Shmueli, who was critically injured on the border with Gaza, is still fighting for his life in hospital. According to a report on Channel 13, it has emerged that he was shot by an Arab who had concealed his weapon in his pants pocket, which is why he was not identified by IDF forces.
The investigation into the incident also revealed that the Arab shot three bullets through a slit in the security wall, one of which hit Shmueli at extremely close range. Although one of the soldiers at the scene shouted “bullet,” it was not immediately obvious that the firing was coming from both directions.
At the time of the shooting, Shmueli was standing next to another sniper from his unit, and also near his commanding officer, an experienced fighter. Behind them was the commander of the northern Gaza division, Col. Yoav Brunner.
Shmueli received immediate medical treatment from an IDF medic who was nearby and within seconds he was transported to an ambulance and rushed to hospital. He arrived at Beer Sheva’s Soroka hospital within an hour where he was whisked into the operating room to undergo emergency surgery.
A few minutes before the deadly gunfire shots, another Border Police sniper fired with his weapon at close range at a terrorist who was trying to grab his weapon, thereby neutralizing the threat. In addition, the terrorist who shot Shmueli has been revealed as a Hamas fighter. The assessment of the IDF is that Hamas orchestrated the entire episode, including the use of live fire along with grenades and other weapons.
Dr. Amit Frenkel, a senior physician in Soroka’s ICU, updated the public on the condition of Shmueli, who is still in critical condition and has been sedated and intubated.
Speaking to media on Sunday morning, Barel’s father Yossi said, “Of course things went wrong there – what were they even doing there on the border? And since when are IDF soldiers forbidden to shoot people who came there with the intention of killing them? Demonstrations should be dispersed effectively – why did my son end up in hospital because of a demonstration?”
Barel’s father added that, “My son wasn’t even supposed to be there – it wasn’t his unit on the border. And why were they all so afraid to shoot at the terrorist? What are they afraid of?”