20-year-old US citizen Haitim Taha .
(photo credit: ANCHORAGE CRIME STOPPERS)
The US government demanded the extradition of an American citizen who fled to Israel on charges of murder, assault and other offenses.
The petition was filed by the International Affairs Department of the State Attorney’s Office with the Jerusalem District Court to demand 20-year-old US citizen Haitim Taha’s extradition to the United States.
Taha was arrested on Sunday by Israel Police.
According to the extradition request filed by the US government, on April 7, 2017, in the city of Anchorage, Alaska, a verbal confrontation broke out between Taha, a 16-year-old friend, and an acquaintance. Later that day, Taha and his friend chased the acquaintance and fired a weapon at him, leading to an exchange of fire. The acquaintance was injured in the leg and a 17-year-old passerby was injured in the neck and died a few days later at the hospital.
Taha, who fled the scene in his car, entered Israel on July 9, 2017 using his American passport, and has been in Israel ever since.
This was not the first instance that the US government demanded extradition of US citizens in Israel. In 2017, the US saught extradition of the so-called "JCC hoax bomber," an Israeli teenager from Ashkelon who was arrested by Israel Police in coordination with the FBI. In the same year, the US asked Israel to extradite Tomer Yosef Gross, a dual American-Israel citizen accused of murdering his mother in 2012, in Florida.
On September 13, 2017, Taha and his friend were indicted on murder, assault, among other charges.
The extradition file is handled by Avi Kronenberg of the International Affairs Department of the State Attorney’s Office, in cooperation with Israel Police through Interpol, and leading operations abroad with the intelligence division and Coastal Police.
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