A few days after the attack, which claimed the lives of 1st Sgt. Yosef Kirma, 29, and Levana Malihi, 60, a police investigation concluded that the officer, serving at the rank of second lieutenant, acted incorrectly by failing to retaliate against the terrorist, who was identified as Masbah Abu Sabih, a 39-year-old resident of Silwan in eastern Jerusalem.
The investigation, facilitated by the analysis of a video clip capturing part of the incident, showed that despite wearing uniform and being armed with a gun, the officer failed to open fire, instead choosing to flee the scene.
The decision on the officer's fate was taken by Brig. Gen. Amir Abulafia after the former was summoned for a hearing where it was determined that he would be relieved of his command position but would nevertheless remain in the military.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit released a statement shortly after the decision was announced. “The investigation revealed that the officer did not attempt to engage the attacker and acted contrary to what is expected of him in a situation such as this,” the statement read. “Therefore it was decided that he be dismissed from his position.”
Since the attack the soldier has been suffering from severe mental distress and has struggled to explain his conduct.
The deadly attack took place in early October when Sabih committed a shooting near a police station next to the Ammunition Hill light rail station in Jerusalem.
He then proceeded in the direction of Tomb of Simeon the Just in Sheikh Jarrah where he stopped his vehicle and began shooting at riot police pursuing him on motorbikes. One of the officers, who was later identified as 1st Sgt. Yosef Kirma, was critically injured during the shootout and died from his wounds shortly thereafter. Sabih managed to shoot to death Levana Malihi and wound five other before Israel Border Police shot him dead.