PA police officers charged with murder of Israeli

Three murderers of Ben Yosef Livnat indicted in IDF's Samaria Court after his death in 2011 at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.

June 27, 2013 08:42
2 minute read.
IDF soldier stands guard at Joseph's Tomb

IDF soldier stands guard at Joseph's Tomb 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The alleged murderers of Ben Yosef Livnat were indicted in the IDF’s Samaria Court on Thursday, a security source told The Jerusalem Post.

The source said that preliminary legal documents regarding the indictment had been filed last Thursday.

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According to the source, it was still unclear when a final hearing on whether the defendants would be remanded until the end of the proceedings would take place.

The announcement follows a Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) statement last Wednesday that security forces arrested three members of the Palestinian Authority’s security services for their alleged involvement in the 2011 terror attack at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus in which Livnat was killed and five Israelis were wounded.

Security forces at the time named the three West Bank residents in custody as Nuaf Auda, 24; Wael Dauod, 24; and Tarki Zuara’a, 23. Auda and Dauod were armed PA patrol officers at the time of the attack, while Zuara’a was an unarmed driver.

On May 22, the IDF and the Shin Bet arrested three men after they were released from the PA’s custody. They had been incarcerated for two years after being convicted only of firing in the air during the shootings.

The Shin Bet said two additional Palestinians – a patrol unit commander and an additional patrol officer – were involved in the shooting. The commander is still in a PA jail for his role in the attack, while the officer has gone into hiding in a PA security building.

“During questioning, the suspects confessed to firing on Israeli vehicles despite the fact that their lives were not at risk,” the Shin Bet said.

The investigation found that one of the bullets fired by the patrol officers killed Livnat, who was a father of four from Elon Moreh and a nephew of Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat.

Before their questioning by the PA, the defendants coordinated their accounts of the incident to give the impression that they were under attack, the Shin Bet said.

After the shooting, the defendants placed rocks on the road leading to the tomb in order to back up their testimony that they had come under a rock-throwing attack and had fired in self-defense, the security agency added.

The cover-up continued inside a PA prison, where the defendants were held after the shooting, the Shin Bet said.

The prison chief injured one of the defendants in the leg, with the defendant’s consent, in order to provide further “evidence” that the Palestinian officers had been wounded by the Israelis.

“The investigation is still ongoing. After its completion, the investigation’s findings will be sent to Judea and Samaria District prosecutors for an indictment against the suspects,” the Shin Bet said.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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