An 82-year-old man who shot at two Arab robbers who had broken into his house and approached him with an ax was freed from police custody Tuesday, after he was detained Monday night after the incident to provide testimony. The incident occurred in the Beit Yitzchak moshav near Hadera along Israel’s central coast.
At about 9:30 p.m. Monday, police received a report of a a break-in at a house on the moshav. When police arrived on the scene, they heard noises, and found the homeowner, along with his would-be robbers, tools of the trade – including an ax – in their hands. According to the resident, he took out a personal weapon he legally owned when he became aware of the break-in, and when the robbers began advancing on him, he shot them. The two, illegal Arabs in their 30s from the Tulkarem area, were injured moderately and seriously, respectively. It was not immediately clear if police intended to charge the shooter with any crime.
A spokesperson for the moshav said that he knew the homeowner very well. “We grew up with the family here on the moshav. The shooter is a good man, an elderly man. You can’t judge a person in a situation like this, when they are faced with imminent danger.”
In a statement, police said that the response of the homeowner was to be expected, given the large number of break-ins in the area. “In recent months we have increased our presence in the area, with the result that there has been a 47-percent decrease in property crimes this year compared to last year. The Israel Police will continue to hold a dialogue with the heads of the communities and the residents of the area in order to increase the feeling and fact of personal security.”
Residents told Channel Two that they applauded the shooter’s actions. “People around here are afraid, they do not leave their children alone,” one resident said. “We have a good quality of life, but this is definitely a problem. If more people are willing to shoot, the criminals may get the idea that they should stay away.”