Jerusalem District Court Judge Yoram Noam surprised the prosecution on Sunday by
ordering the release of “kotel shooter” Hadi Kabalan to house arrest over its
Noam himself recognized that it was “an exceptional
and rare” situation to release to house arrest a defendant accused of murder.
However, the court reasoned that “the risk to public security that the accused
represents can be tempered” by placing him under full house arrest instead of
releasing him completely.
Full house arrest includes having electronic
handcuffs on one’s legs, as well as 24- hour chaperones committed personally to
the defendant remaining in the house.
Security guard Kabalan, 25 years
old, is accused of shooting and killing the unarmed Doron Ben-Shalush at the
Western Wall on June 21.
Kabalan has claimed that he shot Ben-Shalush
when the 46-year-old shouted “Allahu akbar” and reached into his pocket, thus
leading him to believe that Ben-Shalush was a terrorist.
Noam said on
Sunday that Kabalan’s claim of selfdefense could raise a reasonable doubt about
the circumstances of the shooting which the court could not ignore, and that
there was a significant possibility he would be acquitted.
The court also
noted that the social services evaluator said Kabalan was stable and reliable
enough to be released to house arrest.
It was unclear to what extent
Kabalan’s generally strong background as a security officer might have also
helped him get the benefit of the doubt from the court.
court’s order, the prosecution obtained a temporary freeze of the order should
it want to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court by Tuesday
The indictment, filed on July 4, said Kabalan and another
guard, Khaled, checked Ben-Shalush at the security checkpoint when he arrived at
the Western Wall area as he did on a daily basis.
The report continued
that after the check, Ben-Shalush yelled at the two security guards and used a
racial slur against them for being Druse.
The security guards continued
their work, during which Kabalan allegedly asked Khaled and another guard if
they would give him NIS 1,000 if he killed Ben- Shalush.
According to the
indictment, when Ben-Shalush walked by the checkpoint later, Kabalan followed
him, and when he was only meters away, opened fire.
The indictment said
that Kabalan fired at Ben-Shalush 14 times at the center of his body, while
coming closer and closer to him, and did not stop firing until his magazine was