Itongadol.- The security spot check of a Jewish man behaving erratically outside the capital’s downtown central bus station late Wednesday night turned into a deadly shooting when the suspect, believed to be an Arab terrorist, fought two IDF soldiers and reached for one of their guns.
Police probe mistaken identity shooting of Jew thought to be a terrorist
According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, at approximately 11:30 p.m. the unidentified man drew the attention of the soldiers upon exiting an Egged bus across the street from the central bus station.
“He was acting very suspiciously, and two IDF soldiers patrolling the area as part of Jerusalem’s heightened security suspected he may be a terrorist and asked him to present his identification, but the man said he refused to show it,” Rosenfeld said on Thursday morning.
“When the soldiers began questioning him, it turned into a fight, and the man tried to take a gun from one of the soldiers. Unfortunately, as a result, he was shot and killed at the scene.”
Neither of the soldiers was wounded in the scuffle, he said.
While Rosenfeld said the details of the incident still remain unclear, he noted that an investigation has been opened into the shooting, as well as into the man’s mental history.
“Police are looking into his background and why he behaved like this,” he said. “Many different questions are being asked.”
ZAKA rescue and recovery chairman Yehuda Meshi Zahav, who was at the scene, said he also initially thought the suspect was an Arab terrorist.
“When I arrived with the ZAKA team at the site of the supposed terrorist attack, it seemed to be a ‘standard’ current terrorist attack, a stabbing attempt, and the terrorist was apprehended,” he said.
“I wanted to cover the body in a black bag [reserved for terrorists]. After I was asked to take care of the body I saw that he was a Jew, and that it was mistake to speak of a terrorist. I immediately notified the police and we switched to a white ZAKA body bag.”
The capital remains at its highest state of security in the wake of a deadly terror wave that has resulted in numerous roadblocks and check points in flashpoint Arab neighborhoods, as well as the deployment of over 5,000 Border Police and IDF soldiers to patrol the city.