The DNA of an Israeli Arab killed during a disputed incident was found on a police officer’s gun on Sunday, thereby proving that he was shot dead after attempting to steal the weapon, according to Israeli authorities.
Mohammed Elasibi, 26, from the Bedouin town of Hura, near Beersheva, was shot dead on Friday in Jerusalem’s Old City after grabbing an officer’s weapon and firing off two shots.
“This was unequivocally a weapon grab and terrorist shooting—just as we reported on the night of the attack,” police said in a statement Sunday.
The statement condemned those spreading “public falsehoods” about the incident.
“Since the attack, false versions have been published on social media networks and in some media outlets, despite a terrorist almost murdering policemen who were defending their lives in the face of real danger,” said the statement.
While Elasibi’s family and witnesses disputed the official account, Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai on Saturday night said that he had “no doubt” about what took place.
“After hearing from the district commander and being privy to all the data regarding the incident, I have no doubt that this is a terrorist attack,” said Shabtai. “The picture here is very clear: This is an attack that was carried out against police officers who were operating at the gate of the Temple Mount in order to allow freedom of worship and maintain order and public safety.”
The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, an umbrella group of community leaders, launched a general strike on Sunday in protest against the killing.
“This isn’t a case of conflicting versions—there is a regime that murdered a citizen in cold blood. The burden of proof is on the police,” the committee’s chairman, former Knesset member Mohammad Barakeh, told Army Radio on Sunday.
He threatened that the protests could turn violent in the event of “police provocations.”
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