The death of a young Jewish man Wednesday night in Jerusalem – who was taken for a terrorist by security officers – could have been avoided, said Zaka chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav.
“They could have disabled him by shooting him in the legs, instead of aiming for his chest,” he said. “Obviously the soldiers were responding to the increased levels of pressure that we are all feeling these days.”
Israel's military police have opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the young Jewish man.
An initial probe revealed that two IDF soldiers grappled with the man, who they suspected was a terrorist. The man attempted to steal the soldiers' weapons prompting the soldiers to fire and kill him.
Meshi-Zahav said that when he arrived on the scene, “I was sure that this was a terrorist incident, and our staff checked his pockets. We found an Israeli identification card, and we were understandably in shock. I called the mayor and told him what had happened.”
According to Meshi-Zahav the entire incident could have been avoided. “The victim, who was the security guard on the bus, got off and started arguing with some officers."
"Apparently a third party saw this and thought that they had come across a terror attack in progress. It's as if the shooter was overly-aware. Usually that's good – such as was the case in Beit Shemesh, where officers shot the terrorists before they were able to cause too much damage."
“But anyone who thinks that he is being viewed suspiciously should be proactive, perhaps shouting out loud that they are Jewish,” said Meshi-Zahav.
“We are in very tense times, and we all need to be more careful and cautious. I am not trying to criticize the security forces, but I do think this threat could have been neutralized in another way, by shooting the suspect in the legs.”