Ahmad Mahmoud Khatib
Photo courtesy of al-Hadith newspaper
Scene of attack
Photo: Gil Yohanan

J'lem shooter: Israeli Arab from Galilee

Ahmad Mahmoud Khatib, 29, of Kfar Manda killed by security guard Friday after attempting to snatch another guard's weapon. His relatives, acquaintances claim he did not attempt to carry out terror attack: 'The guards are the only ones who say that he tried to snatch the weapon'

Cleared for publication: The terrorist shot to death Friday after an exchange of fire with a security guard in Jerusalem's Old City has been identified as Ahmad Mahmoud Khatib, 29, of Kfar Manda in the western Galilee. Khatib was survived by his pregnant wife and baby daughter.


Shin Bet investigators raided Khatib's village on Friday and arrested a number of residents in order to check whether he had operated on his own or had been sent by an organization.


Over the weekend, three Palestinian organizations – the military wings of Fatah, the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – claimed responsibility for the attempted terror attack which they referred to as "a military operation" in Jerusalem.


A joint statement issued by Martyr Abu-Ali Mustafa Brigades (PFLP's military wing), the al-Quds Brigades (the Islamic Jihad's military wing) and Fatah's al-Aqsa Brigades, said that a photo of the "shahid" (martyr) would be presented shortly. On Saturday evening, a poster showing Khatib above the Dome of the Rock and the Koran was released, hailing him as "the martyr of al-Aqsa".


Katib's family members tried to hold his funeral on Saturday, but his body had yet to be released by Israeli authorities.


'He was incapable of doing such a thing'

Khatib's acquaintances and relatives of the terrorist said that they were surprised to hear about the incident he was involved in, during which he snatched the gun of one security guard before exchanging fire with another guard.


According to the acquaintances, "He was a quiet and introverted person, who was incapable of raising his hand on anyone. People cannot believe what is being said here, that he snatched a security guard's weapon. He is simply a person who is incapable of doing such a thing."


They added that his family was "normative, quiet and respected."


The family's acquaintances said that as far as they knew, Khatib told other residents who arrived with him in Jerusalem that he planned to stay in the city for the afternoon prayer and return later.


"Many people from our community go to pray in Jerusalem on Friday. It is a very central city for us," one of the acquaintances said. "We are shocked to hear what happened, particularly when the family has yet to receive any clear information. They are waiting to hear from the police what really happened, and are waiting to see when the funeral will take place."


Many of those who arrived at the family's home on Saturday claimed that Khatib was "killed for nothing" as he did not try to carry out a shooting attack.


According to the acquaintances, the incident was made up by the two security guards in order to avoid murder charges.


"The guards are the only ones who say that he tried to snatch the weapon. There is no evidence for that, and he can no longer testify and defend himself. It's a shame that the police fell for it, as did the Shin Bet apparently. We are now calling it first-degree murder."


Roee Nahmias and Efrat Weiss contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 08.11.07, 20:24
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