Charges Dropped Against Officer Who Shot Scissor-Stabber

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli security forces at the scene where two people were lightly injured in a stabbing attack, when two Arab women stabbed shoppers at the Mahane Yehuda market in central Jerusalem with scissors, November 23, 2015. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Israeli security forces at the scene where two people were lightly injured in a stabbing attack, near the Machaneh Yehudah market in central Yerushalayim, by two Arab girls using scissors, Nov. 23, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prosecutors are set to drop charges against a police officer who shot and killed an Arab terrorist at the Machaneh Yehudah market in Yerushalayim after she and a companion went on a stabbing spree, using a pair of scissors to stab passersby.

The incident on November 23 of last year left two people injured – a 70-year-old Arab man who was attacked by the stabbers, and an Israeli security officer, who was injured by a stray bullet when the officer in question shot at the two terrorists. They had in their possession a knife and a pair of scissors. One of the terrorists, a 16 year-old female Arab, was killed, while the second was injured in the shootout. An indictment was filed against the latter last Friday.

After conducting an investigation, former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein filed charges against the officer, whom he said had unnecessarily shot the terrorist, killing her after she was already on the ground. The officer said that she had threatened to blow herself up, as she claimed to be wearing a bomb belt. Video cameras show the terrorist on the ground and both her and the officer talking, but as there is no audio, it was impossible for investigators to determine the nature of their conversation.

Investigators decided over the weekend that since there was no way to prove that the officer was not responding to an immediate threat, the charges should be dropped.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan slammed the decision to investigate the officer, saying that he “couldn’t understand the people who dare to judge security forces when they are forced to take action against terrorists, under the pressure of an attack in progress. It’s as if they are supposed to carry out a laboratory study to determine what other weapons the terrorist has and whether they plan to use them.”

After the attack, the officer was praised by his superiors, including Yerushalayim District Police Chief Moshe Edri, who said that the officer’s “professional response prevented injury to more innocent people.”