Omar Walid
Photo: Roee Idan

Police rebuff claims wounded in bank massacre shot by officers

Probe rules Omar Walid was shot by murderer Itamar Alon, despite Walid's claims that police shot him; Family furious, says committee should examine claims. Lawyer: Police shot Omar, no doubt about it

Internal Affairs determined the man severely injured during the Hapoalim Bank shooting in Beersheba was not shot by police.


The police Internal Affairs investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by the family of the wounded Omar Walid, who claimed he was not shot by murderer Itamar Alon, but by the police.


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Despite the police's report, the family's lawyer insisted: "It was the police who shot Omar, no doubt about it."


Walid's relatives voiced their criticism of the police a day after the shooting and filed a complaint with Internal Affairs.

אחיו של ואליד בפגישה בבית החולים עם השר אהרונוביץ' (צילום: הרצל יוסף)

Walid's brother with Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Photo: Herzl Yosef)


"Following the complaint, Internal Affairs conducted an examination of the evidence collated after the event, but no basis was found for the claim that Walid was shot by police officers at the scene," the Internal Affairs report concluded.


"The examination conclusively showed that Walid was injured by gunfire directed at him by murderer Itamar Alon and that the result of this gunfire was the death of Idan Sabri, who was next to Walid – all this prior to the arrival of police at the area."


Walid described the course of events on the day of the shooting: "I went into the bank with Idan Sabri. We waited in line and then Itamar Alon came in and started shooting the bank's clerks and employees.


"When we heard the shots, I, Idan and a third guy crouched beneath a table. I played dead, and when police arrived and Alon took the hostage and I felt I could leave the bank, police officers shot me and let the third guy out," Walid said.


Walid and his family were angered by Internal Affairs' conclusion and protested that their claims were not examined by a special investigative committee.


"It was the police who shot Omar, no doubt about it," insisted Saleh Taha, the family's lawyer.


"When Omar opened his eyes, he described the police's conduct, and the way he was brought to the hospital, the handcuffing and the delay in his medical treatment all testify to the veracity of his claims.


"Not only did they shoot him when he came out of the bank, but they shot him again after they handcuffed him," he said.


The family was particularly enraged by the fact that Police Chief Commissioner Yohanan Danino did not form a special investigative committee, contrary to the case of the two sisters' murder in al-Furah, when a committee led to the dismissal of Arad's police chief.


"The public security minister decides to relegate the issue to Internal Affairs and they immediately say the police didn't shoot. How can they conclude that without forming a special investigative committee?" Attorney Taha criticized.


Internal Affairs further stated: "To remove any doubt, the department didn't receive any other complaint regarding this serious event, in which police officers acted while risking their lives."


South District Police Chief, Major General Yoram Halevy, added that in light of Internal Affairs' conclusion, "the public figures and influential people in the sector who used every opportunity to cast aspersions on the southern district's police officers and hurt and disparaged the officers who charged and halted the killing spree and saved lives while placing their own in danger – should now do some real and honest soul searching and express regret for the slander campaign and witch hunt against the southern district's police officers."



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פרסום ראשון: 06.04.13, 20:27
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