Bodycam footage shows police officer chasing, shooting suspected Palestinian stabber

Jerusalem District commander praises policeman for managing to take down attacker in soccer field as dozens of young children were playing

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

A police officer aims his gun at a Palestinian teenager, after he allegedly stabbed an Israeli man in East Jerusalem, October 22, 2022. (Israel Police)
A police officer aims his gun at a Palestinian teenager, after he allegedly stabbed an Israeli man in East Jerusalem, October 22, 2022. (Israel Police)

Police on Sunday published bodycam footage of an officer chasing and eventually shooting a Palestinian teen on Saturday after he allegedly stabbed and seriously hurt an Israeli man in East Jerusalem.

The footage showed the officer chasing after the suspect in a soccer field in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, as dozens of young Arab children were playing and holding soccer practice.

As the officer shouted at the suspect in Arabic to stop, the teenager is seen running off, leading the officer to set off in pursuit.

At one point the alleged stabber turned around with an object in his hand, which later was revealed to be the sheath of the knife used in the attack some 800 meters away, and charged at the officer.

The officer fired one shot and the young man fell to the ground.

“I saw him running with an object in his hand and there were a lot of civilians in the area, there was a life-threatening danger to the civilians… the terrorist then turned around in my direction with the object in his hand in order to attack. I felt my life was in danger and fired one shot,” the officer said in a video statement published by police.

The chief of police’s Jerusalem District hailed the officer for his actions. “The policeman who neutralized the terrorist demonstrated vigilance, determination, engagement, courage, and great resourcefulness. The accurate shooting and his professional performance led to the neutralization of the terrorist and prevented injury to the innocents who were around him. This is what is expected of every police officer in the Jerusalem District and the Israel Police,” said Doron Turgeman.

According to police, the officer was involved in responding to another stabbing attack in Jerusalem seven years ago. In December 2015, the officer, with other policemen, managed to subdue a Palestinian attacker who stabbed a soldier on a bus and attempted to snatch his weapon.

Jerusalem District commander Doron Turgeman speaks with an officer who shot an alleged Palestinian stabber, in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, October 22, 2022. (Israel Police)

The suspect in Saturday’s attack, identified as 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Qutaish of the West Bank town of Anata, was taken to Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital in serious condition.

A short while earlier, the teenager allegedly stabbed and seriously wounded an Israeli man in his 20s in a park in the Givat Hamivtar neighborhood between French Hill and Ramat Eshkol, close to Shuafat

The victim underwent surgery Saturday night at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, and the hospital said his condition was stable.

Police said officers arrested two of the stabber’s relatives in Anata on Saturday evening, his father and brother. As forces left through the Shuafat refugee camp, Palestinians hurled stones and other objects, lightly wounding three officers, police added.

The stabbing came amid heightened tensions in the West Bank, as Israeli troops continue to carry out an anti-terror campaign launched earlier this year after 19 people were killed in a string of attacks.

Four soldiers have been killed in the West Bank in attacks and during the arrest operations.

Over 120 Palestinians have also been killed, many — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

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