The widow of a Jerusalem man killed by errant police fire last month sat down on Tuesday with the two police officers who accidentally killed her husband, telling them she didn’t blame them and that they had acted correctly in a complicated situation.
In an emotional meeting with the public security minister, Yifat Ben-Ari — whose husband died of the gunfire during a terror attack at Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate on December 23 — told the two female border policewomen they were like daughters to her.
The policewomen opened fire outside Jerusalem’s Old City as two Palestinian assailants began stabbing Israelis. One man, Rabbi Reuven Biermacher, was killed. Ben-Ari was killed by the police gunfire, with eyewitnesses saying he was chasing the terrorists when he was gunned down.
“I am not angry at you,” Yifat Ben-Ari told the policewomen. “You did exactly what you needed to do to save lives.”
“I consider you my daughters,” the widow continued. “I want you to start anew and not look back, but forward. What happened to you could have happened to my daughters or anyone else.”
At the meeting, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan praised Ben-Ari as a “hero of Israel,” and said he left his car to run after the terrorists.
“Despite the terrible tragedy, the border police who arrived at the scene responded precisely as was expected of them,” Erdan said.
Ben-Ari’s two daughters also attended the meeting, which ended with the policewomen and the family members embracing.