Jerusalem court extends detention of 'Kotel gunman'

Suspect may be charged with murder when an indictment is filed after security guard shoots man to death at Western Wall.

By
June 30, 2013 20:36
1 minute read.
Security forces wheel the body bag of the man shot Friday morning at the Western Wall.

bodybag of J'lem Kotel shooting 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Sunday remanded Hadi Kabalan, the security guard who shot unarmed Doron Ben-Shalush to death at the Western Wall on June 21, to police custody until Thursday.

The court indicated that it anticipated that by then the prosecution will have filed an indictment.

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The 25-year-old has said he shot Ben-Shalush to death because he thought the 46-year-old was a terrorist.

Police suspect, however, that the shooting may have come about during an argument between the two men, in which Ben-Shalush used a racial slur against Kabalan.

It was originally thought the shooting may have been the result of a case of mistaken identity.

Last week, the court lifted a gag order on the identity of the shooter, who was revealed to be Kabalan, a 25- year-old Border Police officer from the Druse village of Beit Jann in the Upper Galilee.

Kabalan is being held for alleged manslaughter; however, he may be charged with murder when an indictment is filed.

Kabalan has said Ben-Shalush shouted “Allahu akbar” and reached into his pocket, thus leading him to believe that Ben-Shalush was a terrorist.

However, police now say Ben- Shalush may have yelled curses at Kabalan about his Druse heritage before the shooting.

At Kabalan’s previous remand hearing, the transcripts of which were released on Sunday, his lawyer bristled at the charges and the suggestion by the prosecution that his client, who has spent most of his career in various security services and with highly positive reviews, was a flight risk or might obstruct the investigation.

The lawyer added that the guard had never served in the Western Wall area before, contributing to his not recognizing Ben-Shalush, who was a regular there.

Ben-Shalush was hit by 10 bullets and Kabalan was arrested following the Friday shooting.

The shooting occurred as hundreds gathered for prayer in one of the capital’s most secure areas.

Immediately following the violence, much of the Western Wall was shut down to visitors so police could investigate the incident.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.


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