Suspects in cop stabbing remanded for 8 days

Dichter: incident reflects violent atmosphere; Officer Assulin still in critical condition

Ambulance 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
Ambulance 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The Ramle Magistrate's Court extended on Monday the remand of stabbing suspect Tareb Abu Issa for another eight days. Abu Issa is suspected of stabbing 27-year-old police officer Shlomi Asulin in Rehovot on Sunday night when he tried to stop car thieves. Shlomi Assulin, a member of the Rehovot Police, was still listed in critical condition on Monday evening. During the hearing, Abu Issa denied all allegations against him and claimed to be at home at the time of the stabbing. The second suspect in the stabbing, Saber Abu Issa, who was caught at the scene of the crime, was also remanded for another eight days. Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said earlier Monday that the incident reflected the violent Israeli atmosphere. "Israel doesn't invest enough resources in crime-fighting," Dichter said in an interview with Army Radio. "We [ministers] have met several times over the past few months and unfortunately have been unable to come to a conclusion regarding financial issues," he said, referring to a lack of appropriate funding towards law enforcement. "Israeli society is becoming more and more violent," the minister added. Assulin was on duty Sunday afternoon when police received a report that two suspicious men appeared to be breaking into a vehicle in the city's Rehov Yom Hakippurim. The policeman and his partner were the first to arrive on the scene and began to pursue the two suspects in the stolen vehicle. According to the initial investigation, a struggle broke out between the two suspects and the two police officers. During the struggle, Rateb Abu Issa allegedly pulled out a screwdriver and stabbed the policeman in the head. Detectives who rushed to the incident opened fire at the man with Abu Issa, but Abu Issa himself managed to flee the scene on foot. The second alleged would-be thief was shot by police and was hospitalized in moderate to serious condition at the city's Kaplan Medical Center. Meanwhile, Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance teams arriving at the scene were forced to artificially respirate the unconscious policeman, who was rushed to Kaplan Hospital. Less than two hours later, he was transferred to Sheba Hospital at Tel Hashomer in Tel Aviv. As doctors struggled to stabilize the police officer Sunday, Shfela Sub-district Police received both a helicopter and reinforcements from special units as they combed the region for Abu Issa. Police said hours after the incident that they were familiar with both Abu Issa and his partner, who have been suspected of involvement in criminal activity in the past. According to Army Radio, Assulin - the father of two young daughters - was surrounded at the hospital by family and colleagues.