Ahmad Khatib, according to videotapes, seized a gun from a guard of the Ateret Kohanim yeshiva and fired it repeatedly before being shot down by the security guard chasing him. But many of the shooter's friends and family have asserted his innocence, some saying that the incident was a complete fabrication.
According to Mahmoud Khatib, it is significant that the incident took place next to the Ateret Kohanim yeshiva which he said is housed by "extreme people who try to take over Muslim Jerusalem by buying houses."
The shooter's father claimed that the investigation into the incident was not conducted in a proper and unbiased manner, and demanded a new investigation headed by a neutral source. "I am only looking for
justice," he said.
"Today there's no problem to use graphics and edit tapes however you want," said Mahmoud Khatib in his memorial speech. "Everything can be staged. I have witnesses who claim that something else went down and I will bring them out at the right time."
He said that he and his other sons are scheduled to be questioned by police Monday, as part of an ongoing investigation into the incident.
Shot while he was down?
Based on earlier statements by Arab MK Ahmad Tibi, witnesses in the area did not necessarily deny Khatib's involvement in the shooting, but claimed that he was killed in an execution-style shooting, once he had already fallen wounded to the ground.
The video released by police on Sunday ends seconds after the shooter fell to the ground, thus not providing evidence of whether Tibi's allegations have any basis. But police have refuted the claim, saying that "according to witnesses and an unreleased video, this did not happen."
A statement by the Abu Kabir medical center strengthen's the police's position. According to them, the shooter's body had several bullet wounds and autopsy results indicated that he had not been shot while on the ground.
Khatib's service (Photo: Doron Golan)
Such claims by police or pathologists did not stop many at the service from proclaiming the shooter's martyrdom. His father said Ahmad Khatib would be added to the list of shahids from the town, which includes a resident who was killed during the riots of October 2000.
The head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch Sheikh Raad Salah - soon to be indicted for incitement against the State – also declared the shooter to be a shahid when speaking at the funeral.
"If the Israeli establishment thought to send a message of fear with this murder, we will stomp on this murder. We need to remember that there were many invaders (in this land) and they all disappeared," he
Some 1,000 people arrived in the Arab-Israeli village of Kfar Manda, Khatib's hometown, to attend the memorial service. Many of them waved Islamic Movement flags and cried out against the Israeli establishment. Others carried signs reading "Try the murderers" and "We won't forgive and won't forget."