Several police officers reassigned after probe into Jerusalem gay pride attack

Several officers will be reprimanded for failures that allowed the deadly stabbing attack during the parade.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 6, 2015 19:44
2 minute read.
Yishai Schlissel

Yishai Schlissel arrested after stabbing six people at the Jerusalem gay pride parade. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Seven police officers are to be removed from their positions due to failures that allowed an attacker to stab six people at the Jerusalem Pride Parade in July, one of whom later died of her wounds.

The findings against six police officers and a Border Police officer were presented to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and acting police commissioner Asst.- Ch. Bentzi Sau last week, but only cleared for publication on Sunday, weeks after Erdan received the initial findings of the probe, and asked for more work to be carried out.

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Three days after the July 30 attack, Sau appointed Asst.- Ch. (res.) Yisrael Yitzhak, to head an investigatory committee into the incident. At the center of the investigative work was determining how attacker Yishai Schlissel managed to slip by police, even though he had been released only weeks earlier from prison after serving 10 years for stabbing several people at the capital’s 2005 pride parade.

The committee found that planning for the event was carried out professionally but that “on the ground” officers failed to carry out the necessary police work and apply intelligence in a way that could have prevented Schlissel from making it inside the protected area of the parade.

Altogether, 11 police officers were reprimanded by name in the committee’s findings, including Jerusalem District head, Asst.-Ch. Moshe Edri, who was the subject of a disciplinary reprimand, though he was not removed from his post.

Among the findings were that Edri took responsibility for the failure in testimony to the committee, and that his officers told him potential threats were being monitored.

The head of Jerusalem’s Moriah subdistrict, Cmdr. Kobi Davidian, is to be removed from his post, to be ineligible for promotion for five years and banned from holding a command position in the future.

The stabbings took place at a location that was under the responsibility of Davidian’s subdistrict and the committee found that he failed to carry out his responsibilities.

One of the victims, 16-year-old Shira Banki, later died of her wounds.

A total of four intelligence and operations officers from the Jerusalem District also are to be demoted and banned from promotion for five and seven years, respectively, for failing to adequately identify and stop people considered to be potential threats. The committee found that they failed to secure the areas around the parade, as well, helping Schlissel penetrate the secure area of the parade.

Another officer, Supt. Oleg Golend, was demoted and ruled ineligible for promotion or a command position for five years because he was responsible for securing the specific junction where the attack took place.

In addition, an unnamed Border Police officer is to be demoted for failing to stop Schlissel from entering the parade, though the committee acknowledged that once he noticed Schlissel, he charged to neutralize him and stop the attack and, in that respect, behaved as expected.

Erdan was quoted on Sunday as saying the findings of the committee and the disciplinary recommendations were “unprecedented in their scope,” while Sau praised the findings, which he said showed a series of command failures.


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