Police criticized after Haifa shooting

Amit says nightclub death could have been prevented.

A drive-by shooting outside a Haifa nightclub Friday night might not have happened had the Israel Police implemented recommendations made six months ago by a committee established to combat nightclub violence, according to former Jerusalem police chief Aryeh Amit, the head of the committee. Off-duty soldier Nidal Mansour, from the Druze village of Usfiya, was shot dead Friday night as he stood outside the Roko Beach nightclub. He was killed when several youths opened fire toward the entrance after they had been denied entry. "I can't say that one case or another would have been prevented, but if the recommendations had been implemented the chances of this attack happening would have been significantly less," Amit said Sunday. Amit submitted his committee's recommendations six months ago to Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz and Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra. The conclusions included: stationing policemen at the entrance to major nightclubs, training bouncers and security guards, preventing the sale of drugs, delivering antiviolence lectures at schools and ensuring that all nightclubs obtain the necessary licenses. Amit refrained from directly accusing the Israel Police of foot dragging by not implementing the conclusions. However, he said the country needed to change its priorities, adding: "This country needs to begin to deal with domestic issues. It should have already done so a long time ago." On Monday, Ezra will convene his anticrime committee established in May following a series of brutal murders across the country. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will attend the meeting, during which the ministers will discuss the creation of a witness protection program. Noam Ben-Simhon, 29, of Tirat Carmel was remanded in custody for five days by the Haifa Magistrate's Court on Sunday on suspicion of involvement in the murder. A woman who was detained for questioning along with Ben-Simhon was subsequently released. Brothers Dudu and Ro'i Tzapana, aged 30 and 24, from Haifa, were arrested Saturday on suspicion of involvement in the murder. They were brought before the Haifa Magistrate's Court Saturday night and were remanded in custody for three days. Police said the investigation was its the initial stages and more arrests were expected. According to the police, the suspects apparently had been refused entrance to the club after they refused to undergo security checks. The police believe they returned an hour or so later armed with pistols and opened fire indiscriminately. David Rudge contributed to this report.