(JNi.media) Police suspect an argument developed between the two soldiers and an ultra-Orthodox man who ended up being shot dead Wednesday night in Jerusalem. During the confrontation that ensued, the victim attacked one of the soldiers and went for his gun. A bus driver who saw what was happening tried to help the soldiers to control the man using his taser, but the victim continued to try and grab the soldier’s gun, while crying out “Ani Da’ash” (I am ISIS).
Israeli police and the military police will conduct the investigation of the soldiers involved in the killing of the Jewish man Wednesday night in Jerusalem, after they suspected him of being a terrorist. IDF officers have told Walla that there’s a need to refine the rules of engagement for soldiers in civilian life. “These situations place the soldiers in situations for which they are not trained,” one officer said. The IDF fears more cases of rush to judgment on the part of the hundreds of soldiers who are now bolstering the ranks of Israeli police, with similar result.
The soldiers involved in killing the suspect have been lent as reinforcement to police in Jerusalem. There is a shortage of at least 400 policemen in the capital, and so in recent weeks it was decided to add to the police more than 300 soldiers, essentially to boost civilian confidence.
Referring to the Wednesday night killing, security forces said that “this is a very complex event that requires immediate operational research to figure out what really happened, to prevent such cases in the future, regardless of the findings of the military police investigations.”
The investigation of the killing has not yet started, according to Walla. At this point police has received several conflicting testimonies from people at the scene. The IDF Spokesman’s office declined to comment.
The victim, in his 30s, was a resident of Jerusalem who came over a decade ago from the Caucasus and in recent years studied in a yeshiva at the Har Nof neighborhood. Before that, he served two years in the Haredi Nahal battalion and then worked as a security guard in kindergartens. One of the rabbis at his yeshiva told Walla, “I can’t understand how it happened, it looks like a serious error on the part of the soldiers. This is unbelievable. He was a very good and well organized man.”
Another rabbi at the yeshiva added: “He was a very strong guy. My understanding is that maybe he got into an argument with the soldiers. This is a stupid and tragic mistake.” Another person who knew the victim said, “He was a modest, gentle and very quiet man. We had him over for meals on Shabbat days. It’s likely that he defended himself against the person who shot him. I’m not sure exactly what happened but it is a serious human error.”
According to military sources, the victim came up to the two soldiers at night, on Yirmiyahu Street in the capital, and asked them to identify themselves. A security guard who stood nearby suspected he was a terrorist trying to snatch a soldier’s weapon, so he shot him. Then one of the two soldiers fired.
Tomer Cohen, an eyewitness to the fatal incident, said: “He began to confront them and never gave up. They took control over him, pulled him away from the people, and because he didn’t let go, they killed him. I don’t know if he was an Arab or a Jew, but he definitely confronted them. He was a threat. When he jumped on one of them, girls here were screaming ‘Terrorist, terrorist.’ There was something scary about it.”