A 16-year-old Palestinian teenager who police say went with her cousin on a stabbing attack in Jerusalem last week now plans to file a complaint against the police officer who shot her to try to stop the assault.
At Jerusalem’s main outdoor fruit and vegetable market, according to authorities, one or both of the girls stabbed a 70-year-old Palestinian man in the head with scissors whom they may have mistook for an Israeli.
“This is a very shocking incident that must be deeply probed,” said the girl’s attorney Tarek Bargout, who was referring to the shooting of his client not her suspected involvement in the stabbing attack.
“If the State plans to charge the minor, then she should weigh filing a charge against the police officer who used his weapon … without any need or justification,” her lawyer told Israel’s Channel 10.
According to a police interrogation transcript obtained by Channel 10, the teenager told police that she never intended to hurt anyone, despite the fact that security camera video of the incident appeared to show both girls waving their weapons.
The Israel police last week said in a statement following the attack that a police sapper who happened to be in the area responded within seconds to the stabbing.
In security camera video, he could be seen shooting and wounding one of the girls, identified by Channel 10 as the 16-year-old, and then shooting and killing the 14-year-old cousin. He then went back to the 16-year-old and shot her again in an apparent effort to make sure she was unable to attack anyone else.
In the interrogation transcript aired by Channel 10, the 16-year-old, whose name was not disclosed due to her being a minor, said, “Hadil [the cousin] asked me to come with her to Jaffa Street. I didn’t intend to hurt anyone.”
“Suddenly she took out scissors and scratched someone who was there. I didn’t understand what she’s doing,” she reportedly told police. “People started to scream ‘terrorist, terrorist,’ and I was afraid they would attack me. Then I took out [my] scissors to defend myself. … Suddenly they shot at me and I got hit by a man with a chair and I lost consciousness.”
The security camera video from the scene appeared to show the girls, wearing Muslim headscarves, coming toward a security guard and the police officer whose guns were extended. A civilian at one point used a chair to subdue one of the two.
Police said that the officer acted according to regulations.
The officer “was not sure the terrorist was sufficiently wounded” in order to ensure she could not attack anyone else, police said according to the Times of Israel.
A police spokesman noted that there have been past cases in which assailants continued their attacks even after being injured, such as an attack on Oct. 13 in which the Palestinian assailant rammed his car into Israeli pedestrians in Jerusalem. Though he was injured in the collision that totaled his car, he tried to stab others before being shot by a security guard, the Times of Israel reported.
Video emerged from a second location near a light rail station, which appeared to show the teens walking to and fro before choosing a victim.
When he was in Israel last week, Secretary of State John Kerry made specific reference to the use of scissors as a weapon, apparently responding to the scissor attack.
“Clearly, no people anywhere should live with daily violence, with attacks in the streets, with knives or scissors or cars,” Kerry told reporters before meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.