Itamar Alon

Bank gunman in 2011: Need firearm to protect myself from terrorists

Beersheba shooter's gun was confiscated in 2011 following neighbors' dispute; gun was returned to him after he said he needed it for protection. Gun thought to be same weapon that killed four Monday

Could the Beersheba killing spree have been prevented? In August 2011, Itamar Alon asked a Beersheba court judge to strike a motion to confiscate his gun and the judge complied. Alon fatally shot four people Monday in a Beersheba bank most likely with the use of the same firearm that was confiscated in 2011.


Alon's gun was initially confiscated following a neighbor dispute and suspicion that he was posing a threat to his parents, but a Beersheba judge ruled in favor of allowing Alon to keep his gun after he argued he needed his weapon in order "to protect myself from terrorists."


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When the court hearing regarding Alon's gun began a year-and-a-half ago, law enforcement  representatives said that the police "contend that the weapon should not be returned to its owner, at least until all circumstances are clarified, among others, reviewing the degree of danger the appellant poses to his parents."

(צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

The bank, Tuesday (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg) 


Alon, however, insisted that he was the one in danger, stressing that "during my security service, I have done things in the name of the public and the State of Israel. Harsh things as far as terrorists are concerned. If they find out I'm not bearing arms, it could be terminal.


"If families of the people involved find out that I'm unarmed, it's almost certain that I would get hurt, so I ask that my firearm be returned to me so that I can protect myself."

(צילום: עידו ארז)

(Photo: Ido Erez) 


When asked whether he was targeted in the past, Alon replied: "I've tried most of the time to keep a low profile, but unfortunately my identity has been uncovered a few times, some of which was against my will. People know who I am and what I did and the family that lost a son has killed three security officers – they killed a Border Guard officer, a soldier and more.


"This is a family that can secure hits and has no operational constraints. Unfortunately I've been discovered, so in order to protect myself, I need the gun. The gun has been licensed for 16 years; I've never threatened anyone; I don't have a criminal record. This is the first time I've been in court. 


The Beersheba judge, Sarah Haviv, stated in her ruling that "despite the fact that a police officer is authorized to instruct the deposit of a weapon as condition for the release of a suspect in a violent offense, the fear in this case is that the suspicion of violent conduct was not investigated. He was investigated in regard to other felonies, perpetrated toward his neighbors, not his parents.

(צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

(Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg) 


The police representative said in response that he would call Alon to the police station for questioning the same day, at which point the judge decided that "police will reconsider the issue of depositing the plaintiff's firearm after questioning and in accordance with its results."



Eleven years ago, Alon shot one of two terrorists who opened fire at a military base in Southern Israel, killing a number of soldiers. Alon's actions saw him awarded the Beersheba bravery medal, which he received from the previous mayor, Yaakov Terner.


About a year after the incident that awarded him the medal, complaints started to pour in against his interpersonal skills and his conduct at his workplace.


Alon was fired from his position as a school security guard, after one of his employers said that he had been "aggressive," and "would not listen."


A co-worker at the security agency in which Alon was employed said Alon showed little consideration for his colleagues, was extremely inflexible in his positions and given to aggression.


His gun was confiscated after a neighbor called the police, accusing Alon of vandalism. When police arrived, Alon's door was unanswered for a long period of time, prompting emergency forces to break the door open. According to the neighbor, police said that Alon had been keeping his parents locked in one of the rooms in the house.


Alon perpetrated a massacre on Monday at a Beersheba branch of Bank Hapoalim, claiming the lives of the bank manager Avner Cohen, 44, his deputy Meir Zitun, 44, Anat Even-Haim, 34, and Idan Sabri, 22. He then turned the gun on himself after his ATM card was blocked due to a debt of NIS 6,000 ($1,640).


Noam (Dabul) Dvir contributed to this report 



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פרסום ראשון: 05.21.13, 09:57
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