Police have dropped the charge that Yehiel Indore acted out of racist motivations when he allegedly fired the fatal shot that killed Qusai Jamal Ma’atan, 19, during clashes on the outskirts of the West Bank Palestinian village of Burka on August 4.
Indore had claimed that he acted in self-defense, shooting only after he was hit in the head with a rock, while Palestinians had argued that he shot before he was hit.
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court heard a second police appeal on Friday to keep Indore in custody for an extra 10 days but agreed that he should be held only until Tuesday. He had initially been scheduled to be released on Friday.The move is partially symbolic, because Indore, whose skull was fractured by the rock, underwent surgery after the attack and has been recovering in Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem under police guard.
In extending Indore’s remand, the Magistrate’s Court judge said he was “suspected of committing the offenses of conspiracy to commit a crime, riot resulting in damage, and causing death intentionally or with indifference.” The judge did not mention racism as an additional potential additional charge, as had been mentioned by police earlier in the week.
The judge said evidence appeared to strengthen against Indore with respect to his suspected involvement in Ma’atan’s death but that there was still validity to the narrative that Indore had acted in self-defense.
Evidence provided to judge
There is scant hard evidence regarding the August 4 incident, which involved dozens of settlers and Palestinians and lasted for hours. Settlers have claimed that Palestinians attacked a Jewish shepherd herding his sheep. Palestinians argue that settlers had attempted to attack the Burka village, located off Route 60 near the Oz Zion outpost in the Binyamin region of the West Bank.
The little evidence that exists has been presented in secret to judges adjudicating the case, including a video.The case has gone before at least four different courts in the last week, including the Jerusalem District Court, the High Court of Justice, and an IDF military court.
That latter court on Thursday ordered the release of four Palestinians held for their alleged involvement in the clashes.
Elisha Yered, a settler who lives in the Oz Zion outpost, was released to house arrest on Wednesday night. He is also suspected of involvement in the incident and the death of Ma’atan, because he allegedly removed Indore’s gun from the scene of the attack.