Video footage shows Old City attack

Assailant seen snatching the pistol of a security guard and shooting him.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS, JPOST.COM STAFF
August 12, 2007 18:29
2 minute read.
Video footage shows Old City attack

old city cop 298.88. (photo credit: Ahmad Garbali)

 
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Closed circuit video footage from the scene of Friday's shooting in Jerusalem's Old City shows the Israeli Arab assailant grabbing a security guard's pistol and shooting him repeatedly at close range. Double click below to watch video The footage, which was released on Sunday by Jerusalem police, belies claims by the attacker's family that he was shot by the security guard's partner without cause. The video clearly shows Ahmed Mahmoud Khatib, 29, from Kafr Manda in the western Galilee, following the guards, Alex Nepelvich and Mikhail Popov, as they patrolled the narrow cobblestone streets of the Old City. Then, as the guards start to enter a kiosk, Khatib snatches Popov's gun and runs away. The guards give chase through the crowded street, and Khatib tries to shoot Popov, but failed since the pistol was locked, the video shows. The two men scuffled and this time Khatib succeeded in shooting Popov, before fleeing. "My weapon was taken from me by complete surprise, and then he is pointing the weapon at me with his face to me," Popov, 31, recalled from his bed at Jerusalem's Shaare Tzedek Medical Center. "I jumped on him, and he cocked the gun, and at that second I grabbed his hands. At that minute he started shooting." Nepelvich is seen on the video standing next to a wall and shooting at the terrorist. At first, Nepelvich failed to hit Khatib. After a resumed chase, Nepelvich caught up with Khatib and killed him. Ten people, including Popov, were wounded in the shoot-out. The footage ends with Khatib being shot and slumping to the floor while continuing to fire, but does not show his last moments or whether the guard "confirmed the kill," meaning shot him after he was helpless. Police officials said Khatib was still firing when he fell to the ground, and that Nepelvich acted professionally and appropriately in view of the danger. Israel Police chief Insp-Gen. David Cohen has praised the actions of the security personnel as "exemplary," and the police plan to award them certificates of merit. The security guards were employed by a private firm, Modi'in Ezrahi, at the behest of the state. Popov said that an Arab shopkeeper who witnessed the shooting was the first to help him and Jewish children who had been wounded in the shoot-out. Khatib's family and associates said over the weekend that he came to Jerusalem for Friday prayers on the Temple Mount and was killed because he had left his identity card at home. The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) is investigating whether Khatib - who had a criminal record but no terror-related offenses - acted on his own or was affiliated with a terrorist organization. Khatib, who is survived by his pregnant wife and young daughter, was buried on Sunday in Kafr Manda in a funeral attended by thousands, carrying green Islamic Movement flags. The funeral began with a speech by Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement's northern branch. "Those who murdered Ahmed Khatib are criminals, terrorists and cowards" he said. He also promised that those responsible will be cursed by Ahmed's blood. Ahmed's father, Mahmoud, said that the security tapes were a fabrication, claiming that police had told him that evidence was still inconclusive. He blamed the security guards for his son's death, but said that ultimate responsibility lay with the Israeli government.

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