Justice Ministry officials are reportedly investigating police officers who may have unlawfully killed a Palestinian assailant who went on the stabbing spree that claimed the life of an American tourist in Jaffa and wounded 12 others on Tuesday.
As was first reported over the weekend in the liberal daily Haaretz and The Intercept, the ministry’s police investigations unit is examining evidence to determine whether the officers acted within the bounds of the law.
A YouTube video depicting the immediate aftermath of the stabbing shows the assailant wounded and writhing in pain on the ground as armed officers and passersby look on.
In the clip, the officers are goaded by unidentified bystanders to “shoot him in the head” as the terrorist lay on the ground, slightly moving back and forth.
In the ensuing seconds, a gunshot can be heard, to the approval of the passerby. After the gunshot, the assailant appears to be no longer moving.
The conversation heard in the video clearly shows that the officers at the scene did not deem the assailant a risk. One person is overheard saying, "Yossi, enough — he is lying there neutralized, why are you shooting for no reason?”
The assailant, Bashar Massalha, 22, from the village of Auja, went on the knifing spree just days after returning from a trip to Mecca.
Taylor Force, a grad student from Vanderbilt University who was in Israel on a school trip, was the lone fatality in the attack.