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IDF soldier who shot dead civilian during Hamas attack arrested

Yuval Doron Castleman was killed by a reservist soldier after helping stop a shooting attack in Jerusalem.

Yuval Doron Castleman. Source: X.
Yuval Doron Castleman. Source: X.

Israeli Military Police on Sunday night arrested the soldier who shot and killed an Israeli civilian during a terror attack in Jerusalem last week, the army said.

Three Israelis were killed and six others wounded on the morning of Nov. 30 in a terrorist shooting on Weizman Boulevard at the main entrance to Jerusalem.

Yuval Doron Castleman, 37, was driving on the other side of the road from the bus stop where the attack took place. He exited his vehicle, walked across the street and engaged the two Hamas terrorists, who had already killed three people.

The two off-duty soldiers and Castleman managed to kill the Hamas gunmen, but Castleman was then mistaken for an additional assailant and fired upon.

Surveillance video footage shows that Castleman was shot after putting his weapon down and his hands in the air. He reportedly yelled, “Look at my ID, I’m Jewish.”

The IDF said that the soldier’s detention was “preliminary” and that he will continue to be interrogated on Monday.

The arrest comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for a “thorough inquiry” into the killing.

“Yuval Doron Castleman is a hero of Israel. In a supreme act of bravery, Yuval saved many lives. However, unfortunately, a terrible tragedy occurred there and the man who had saved others was killed. There must be a thorough inquiry,” Netanyahu said after speaking on the phone with Castleman’s father.

“I spoke today with Yuval’s father Moshe, the salt of the earth, a Zionist family, an exemplary family. I and the entire nation mourn with them over the death of a hero of Israel,” said Netanyahu.

Moshe Castleman earlier on Sunday said that the soldier had “carried out an execution” of his son and demanded an investigation, saying that no officials had reached out to the family since the incident.

Yuval “did everything he needed to do so they [the soldiers] could identify him. He went down on his knees, opened his jacket to show he didn’t have any explosives on him, yelled at them, ‘Don’t shoot, I’m Jewish, I’m Israeli,’ and they continued to shoot him,” said Moshe.

“How is it possible to think he was a terrorist? It’s inconceivable,” he added.

Moshe said that Yuval had served in the Border Police and Israel Police before becoming a lawyer.

In response to a question during a Saturday night press briefing regarding his government’s policy of relaxing conditions for civilians to acquire firearms licenses, Netanyahu said the policy would be continued.

“The reality of armed civilians is that many times it saves lives and prevents a great disaster. In the current situation, the policy should be continued. We may pay a price for it, that’s life,” he said.

War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz tweeted on Sunday that “the case of Yuval the hero is not ‘life,’ but a warning sign that requires learning lessons that will save lives in the future. May his memory be for a blessing.”

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