Knifing attack in Jerusalem averted; mayor of Arab city condemns police

Family claimed slain stabber was mentally ill and police used excessive force.

The temple mount on the Ninth of Av, July 22, 2018. (photo credit: TNS)
The temple mount on the Ninth of Av, July 22, 2018.
(photo credit: TNS)
A 31-year-old man from Umm el-Fahm, who was killed Friday in Jerusalem’s Old City while stabbing a policeman, was mentally ill and could have been subdued without ending his life, his family and the mayor of Umm el-Fahm claimed on Saturday.
Family members told KAN Radio that Ahmed Mahameed had a history of mental health issues and had not carried out the attack for nationalist reasons.
On Friday afternoon, Mahameed approached a policeman near the Council Gate entrance to the Temple Mount, called Bab al-Majlis in Arabic, and stabbed the policeman.
The policeman was lightly wounded. In response to the attack, the other policemen at the scene opened fire and killed the attacker.
Police sources told KAN that Mahameed was preparing to attack again, necessitating the immediate need to stop him.
Umm el-Fahm Mayor Khaled Hamdan, in a statement issued by the municipality, condemned the killing and claimed the police used excessive force during the handling of the incident and could have neutralized the attacker without killing him. In addition, the municipality called on the state to release Mahameed’s body for a proper burial.
“This is unreasonable behavior of Israeli security forces against a young man who suffered from medical problems. There was another way. He should be released tomorrow so that he can be laid to rest,” the municipality said in a statement.
According to the same statement, Hamdan and his deputy, Bilal Daher, contacted the attacker’s family and discussed his medical problems.
“According to the videos, he could have been arrested without shooting him to death,” the municipality said in its statement.
Family claims slain stabber was mentally ill, police used excessive force.
Questioned over claims that police used excessive force in the handling of the stabbing attack, Jerusalem District Police spokesman Ofer Solomon told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night: “I think that the video speaks for itself... You can see in the video unequivocally that the terrorist tried to murder a policeman, and the police reacted as they are expected to.”
Tamara Zieve contributed to this report.