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August 18, 2018 2:21 pm

Israeli Police: Shooting of Jerusalem Stabber Justified, Prevented Further Casualties; Family: ‘Too Quick on the Trigger’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli police secure the entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City, near the site of a stabbing attack, August 17, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad.

The Israeli Police ardently defended their officers over the weekend for shooting an Israeli-Arab man who attempted to attack them in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Ahmad Muhammad Mahamid from the northern Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm tried to stab a policeman on Friday before being shot dead.

His family later revealed that he was mentally ill and criticized the police for using lethal force in response to the attack.

The police do not agree with this assessment. According to Israel’s Channel 2, a top police source said, “No one could expect the officers to know that the terrorist attacking them with a knife was mentally ill.”

He also emphasized that a preliminary investigation into the incident showed that the officers reacted swiftly and correctly, thus preventing further casualties.

However, the policeman who was attacked was apparently using his cellphone at the time, a violation of police regulations that may have motivated the attacker to target him.

Mahamid’s family strongly challenged the official police stance, saying, “He was not a terrorist. The [police’s] finger is too quick on the trigger.”

Mustafa Abu Majid, a relative, said, “They could have neutralized him in another way.”

The Umm al-Fahm municipality also protested the shooting, claiming that the police killed Mahamid “in cold blood.”

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