Border Police Mista’arvim (undercover officers) who operated overnight Tuesday alongside the Shin Bet in two neighborhoods in the Bedouin city of Rahat in the Negev, seeking to arrest two suspects, shot dead a man who opened fire at them. The force was searching for PA Arabs staying in Israel illegally.
There were no casualties among the officers. The man they shot is Sand Salem al-Harbad, 27, married, and father of three, who was not one of the suspects the force was looking for.
The incident began after one wanted suspect had been apprehended. The undercover officers identified themselves as police following which fire was opened on them from the direction of a group of young men. The officers returned fire at al-Harbad, who was holding a gun. They hit him and immediately began medical treatment, but by the time the MDA had arrived at the scene they determined his death.
The Border Police said that the officers opened fire only when their lives were in danger. They seized the dead shooter’s pistol and a cartridge with ammunition.
Rahat Mayor Faiz Abu Sahiban said in response to the incident: “We very much want the police to arrest people who possess weapons, but the assassination was repugnant. We now entered a different situation, and I hope it doesn’t escalate to strikes and riots. We will try to calm the spirits.”
The mayor added: “Residents tell me that the young man who was killed happened on the scene and was not connected to the shooting.”
This matches the police version: the young man entered the line of fire and started shooting at the officers who consequently killed him.