On Saturday, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a passerby in Jerusalem, and was then shot dead by two border guards. As the second bullet hit him when he was already on the ground, some Israelis have accused the guards of wrongdoing; a misleadingly edited viral video has also brought more attention to the incident. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:
The victim is not the dead terrorist—who had served time as a security prisoner for incitement, and had boasted on social media of his intention to become a shahid (martyr). [He] stabbed Avraham Elimelich, twenty-one, in the neck and then tried to attack security forces who responded.
The Border Police officers shot the terrorist a second time on Saturday within seconds of the initial shooting, and while he was still moving. It is worth remembering the fatal stabbing attacks in Jerusalem’s Baka neighborhood in 1990. In that case, a Palestinian terrorist went on a murderous spree, killing three. The off-duty police officer Charley Chelouche shot at the terrorist’s legs, but he was not fully neutralized, and managed to spring back and kill the heroic Chelouche. This became a symbol of what can happen when security forces do not shoot to kill.
It should also be stressed that police officers, soldiers, or armed civilians in this sort of situation have a split-second in which to make a literal life-or-death decision: to prevent an assailant from carrying out further attacks by trying to neutralize, without killing, him—at the risk that he is still armed and dangerous and possibly wearing a suicide belt.
Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev, a former commander of the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit, [defended] the officers, noting that they had to assess the situation and danger and to decide on a course of action within seconds. “When in doubt, there is no doubt,” he tweeted, noting that the officers could not be sure whether the terrorist was about to trigger an explosive jacket.
Read more on Jerusalem Post: https://www.jpost.com/opinion/yes-border-police-should-shoot-when-necessary-editorial-687910