Scene of the incident at Elazar Junction
Scene of the incident at Elazar JunctionGershon Elinson/Flash90

An IDF reservist will be investigated under warning after killing a Palestinian Arab at Elazar Junction in Gush Etzion this morning. A knife was found in the Palestinian Arab’s backpack.

The Palestinian, a 63-year-old man, was shot in his lower body. He received medical treatment but was declared dead in hospital care.

An initial investigation of the incident indicates that he attempted to board a bus to Jerusalem from Elazar Junction. An IDF force stopped him for questioning and shot him when he attempted to draw the knife.

The investigation is to be carried out by the Military Police and includes suspicions that the incident was handled in contradiction to IDF regulations and the shooting was carried out despite the Palestinian Arab not presenting a threat. Some accounts of the incident on social media claimed that he did not actually try to draw the knife, and even had his hands up at the time of the shooting.

Noam Arnon, the spokesperson for the Jewish community of Hebron stated that the Palestinian Arab was a convert to Judaism who had undergone conversion in the Rabbinical Court of Rabbi Karelitz in Bnei Brak. “David Ben-Avraham was a sincere convert who longed to join the descendants of Abraham, the father of all converts. He died at the roadside, having never achieved his dreams,” Arnon wrote.

“I don’t blame the soldiers,” he added. “David learned about and came to know Judaism, and decided to convert. He did not have an Israeli identity card. He underwent conversion in Bnei Brak with Rabbi Karelitz, but the authorities did not recognize his conversion. I spoke to everyone possible about it, but nothing helped.’’

The knife he had with him, Arnon claimed was a small kitchen knife used to defend himself against hostile Arabs.