A civilian security officer shot dead a Jewish man, 45, in the Western Wall
Plaza's public toilet in Jerusalem
on Friday. Magen David Adom said the man was hit in his upper torso by multiple bullets .
According to the guard, the man had shouted "Allahu Akbar"
and pulled out something from his pocket. The guard has been taken in for questioning.
The incident occurred at around 7:40 am as hundreds of worshippers prayed at the Western Wall Plaza. Aside from the man who was shot, no one else was hurt.
Western Wall shut to visitors (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the guard opened fire with his pistol because he suspected the man was a Palestinian terrorist. "The fact he shouted Allahu Akbar, that seems to be why the security guard drew his weapon and fired a number of shots at him," he said.
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Magen David Adom forces were rushed to the scene but were forced to pronounce the man dead after trying unsuccessfully to resuscitate him for 20 minutes.
According to people who knew the victim, he was a known figure in the Western Wall.
David Dahan who was at the Western Wall at the time of the incident said, "I've know the man for three years. He goes around complaining about the government and the authorities. This morning he was sitting and reading a paper like he always does. He shouted and then headed to the toilet. A minute or two later I heard between seven and 10 shots."
Forensic experts at the scene (Photo: Itzik Ben Shushan)
Dahan said that the man has been volunteering in a Chabad soup kitchen near the Kotel for the past few years
"I don't understand why they shot him. Everyone knows him and his behavior. This isn't the first time he's behaved erratically. "
One of the Kotel's regular worshippers said the victim is known to be a strange person. "He always acts strange. Everyone knows him. He once said he had become a Muslim. I guess the security guard didn't know him," he said.
Another person who knew the victim said he was homeless and slept in the street.
"It's strange the security guard didn't know him because the victim himself knew all the guards," he said.
Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch expressed deep sorrow over the incident. The rabbi said he has confidence in the police and added, "regardless of the circumstances such a case is a terrible tragedy
Kobi Nachshoni and Reuters contributed to this report
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