The Justice Ministry is examining whether the use of deadly force against a terrorist on the Jaffa beachfront on Tuesday night was justified, or whether he was killed after he no longer posed a threat.
A spokesman for the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigative Department said that it is performing an initial probe, but if evidence of a criminal offense is found they will open a criminal investigation.
The attacker, 22-year-old Bashar Masalha of Kalkilya, stabbed and killed American tourist Taylor Force on the Jaffa promenade and then ran north stabbing gridlocked motorists until he was shot and killed.
In a video of the incident, several shots can be heard from a distance, and then in a separate clip, Masalha can be seen lying on the ground as a voice can be heard saying, “I neutralized him.” A voice can be heard saying, “Give him one to the head, give him another one to the head,” and then what sounds like an additional shot is heard.
Then another voice says, “He’s lying on the ground and neutralized.
Why are you shooting for no reason?” The shooter was an Israel Police volunteer, who in comments to Channel 10 after the shooting said, “We came here, eliminated him and continued on. I hope that all volunteers or police can be in an event like this. There is no greater joy than to subdue a terrorist.”
In December, the Justice Ministry questioned a Jerusalem police officer who shot and killed a teenaged Palestinian knife attacker in November, on suspicion of using excessive force by shooting her after she no longer posed a threat.
In the footage, one of the teenage girls can be seen jumping and flailing at a man with scissors in her hand, while the other girl is shot and then pinned down by a man holding a chair. The girl who was pinned down was later shot an additional time.
The case was later closed without criminal charges.
No policemen, volunteers, or civilians have faced criminal charges for use of force in the terrorist attacks over the past several months.