Kotel guard who killed Jew described as 'star'

Court transcript says guard's lawyer argues he should not be detained, as guard had been recognized with distinction in IDF.

June 23, 2013 23:11
2 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)


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A court spokesman on Sunday released the full court transcript of a Friday detention hearing regarding a Western Wall security guard who shot and killed a Jewish-Israeli man in a public restroom near the Kotel Friday morning, after the man shouted “Allahu Akbar,” (Arabic for “God is great”).

The transcript from the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court indicated the guard’s lawyer argued he should not be detained in police custody as he was recognized with distinction for his service as a security guard, in the IDF and also for classified security work for the state.

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The release of the full transcript followed continuing controversy and intrigue in media reports surrounding the incident, particularly since there is still a gag order on the identity of the security guard and since the victim appears to have had a rocky past of mental instability.

To date, it remains unclear why the man, identified by police as Doron Ben- Shalush, 46, shouted the words, which have in the past been yelled by terrorists before they detonated explosives or opened fire.

However, under questioning by the security guard’s lawyer, the transcript revealed that police implied they had reviewed his past for signs of mental instability.

Originally, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the guard opened fire with his sidearm because he suspected the man was a Palestinian terrorist.

“The fact that he shouted ‘Allahu Akbar,’ that seems to be why the security guard drew his weapon and fired a number of shots at him,” Rosenfeld said. “We are looking into what [the deceased’s] motives were.”

“We’re looking into a number of different directions,” said Rosenfeld. “The guard fired because he feared for his life and the investigation is continuing.”

But as of the hearing, the prosecution appeared ready to seek a full-fledged murder charge against the security guard.

The transcript showed that the guard’s 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 a risk to 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, though many others said Ben-Shalush was a regular in the area.

Ben-Shalush’s body was pierced by 10 bullets, according to media reports.

The unidentified guard was arrested following the shooting and appeared before the court on Friday afternoon, at which time a judge extended his remand by five days, pending further investigation, though the prosecution had sought an additional 10 days.

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 all visitors so police units could investigate the incident.

Daniel K. Eisenbud contributed to this story.

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