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Lauded for killing terrorist 6 years ago, police officer now probed over death

Justice Ministry says an appeal was filed against closure of initial investigation into October 2015 incident in which Palestinian was shot dead after stabbing an Israeli teen

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israeli police standing near the body of Fadi Yaloon, a Palestinian who allegedly stabbed a 15-year-old, outside Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday morning, October 4, 2015. (Flash90)
Israeli police standing near the body of Fadi Yaloon, a Palestinian who allegedly stabbed a 15-year-old, outside Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday morning, October 4, 2015. (Flash90)

A police officer who was commended six years ago for his shooting of a Palestinian terrorist was recently questioned about the incident on suspicion of negligent manslaughter.

The officer was questioned under caution two weeks ago by the Police Internal Investigations Department at the order of the attorney general, the Kan public broadcaster reported Thursday.

In the wake of the report, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana spoke with the officer, telling him that he “deserves a medal,” the station said.

“I back you up, and every officer and soldier who acts against terrorists,” said Ohana, whose ministry is responsible for the police force.

Jerusalem District Police Commander Doron Turgeman also joined the call, according to Kan.

The Justice Ministry, under which the PIID operates, said in a statement that the questioning was ordered after an appeal was filed against the closing of a previous probe of the shooting incident.

“After examining the case, it was decided to hear the version of the officers who opened fire,” the statement said. It noted that a final decision on the matter will be made after the matter has been looked into.

The officer’s legal representative told Kan he hopes the PIID will realize its “error” and soon close the case.

The shooting happened on October 4, 2015, after the second terrorist stabbing incident in the capital within a day.

A Palestinian, identified by the Hamas terror group as media Fadi Aloon, 19, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, stabbed an Israeli teen outside Jerusalem’s Old City.

The 15-year-old victim, named as Moshe Malka, was moderately injured and received treatment at the scene by paramedics. He was taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Hospital in stable condition with wounds to the chest and back.

Aloon fled but was intercepted several hundred yards away by police officers, one of whom shot him. The officer in question received a certification of commendation for the Jerusalem police commander at the time.

At the time, the state prosecution ordered a probe into the shooting due to a claim that at the time Aloon was shot, he was no longer constituted a threat. The case was later closed, but an appeal was filed against the closure decision.

The Kan report did not say who filed the appeal, which, it said, was only recently brought to the attention of the state prosecution.

The stabbing and shooting came just hours after Israelis Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Bennett were killed in a terrorist attack in the Old City of Jerusalem and Bennett’s wife and child were injured.

The Palestinian terrorist in that case was identified as Muhanad Shafeq Halabi, 19, from al-Bireh, near Ramallah in the West Bank. He too was shot dead by police.

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