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Monday, July 07, 2008

Video of Jerusalem bulldozer terrorist attack aftermath: Failure to kill the terrorist cost a mother her life

A Knesset hearing was held on Monday to consider last Wednesday's Jerusalem bulldozer attack. Relatives of Batsheva Unterman HY"D (may God avenge her blood), the 33-year old mother whose car was crushed underneath the bulldozer as she managed to hand her baby to a bystander - allowing the baby to live - accused the police of causing her death by failing to kill the terrorist. You may recall that during my coverage of the terror attack, I mentioned the 'open fire' orders and how they inhibited the police from liquidating the terrorist. If you need more proof, here it is.
MKs and victims' relatives demanded an explanation as to why the first policeman who arrived at the bulldozer and found the terrorist suffering from gunshot wounds didn't ensure he was dead.

A relative of Batsheva Unterman, killed in the terrorist's last act, blasted the policeman's conduct. "I have no doubt that the policeman thought: 'I won't shoot him because otherwise, I will stand trial. There is a serious problem here and it cost the life of my relative. This hesitation cost Batsheva her life."

Cmdr. Bruno Stein, who heads Jerusalem's Zion precinct, submitted a report on the attack. He described the conduct of the police, whom he said, tried to reach the terrorist from the very first moment. He asked MKs to try and "get inside the head" of the policeman, in such a "complex" situation.

Former Jerusalem District Police chief, Miki Levy, said that police are not instructed to ensure a suspect is dead. "This is neither legal nor moral. We instruct police to neutralize suspects. The policeman who arrived at the bulldozer cabin made the most correct decision. He saw the terrorist unconscious, with a gunshot wound in the head, so he didn't shoot him."

Levy described the 22-year-old policewoman who shot the terrorist from afar as "the true hero" and repeated that the policeman who leaped onto the bulldozer did the right thing by not shooting him. "He was unconscious. We don't just shoot people like this in cold blood."
Huh? The guy has just murdered and maimed an unknown number of people and you're worried about shooting him 'in cold blood' while he's still driving the bulldozer? On what planet did you grow up?

I have a video of the aftermath of last Wednesday's terror attack. It's embedded below, but so that you make an informed decision of whether to watch it, I am going to tell you what it includes. It includes footage of Batsheva Unterman's car being extracted from underneath the video. And it includes footage of a dead body on a stretcher with some wounds clearly visible. That body is probably the body of Batsheva Unterman HY"D. It's very difficult to watch.

By the way, it also came out on Sunday that "Mem," the off duty soldier who was less concerned about killing the terrorist 'in cold blood' than about stopping the terror attack, was Batsheva Unterman's second cousin. More small world syndrome.

Let's go to the videotape. I'll have a concluding comment afterward.

When there is God forbid a terror attack, priority number one is to stop the terror attack. If killing the terrorist is the fastest way to do that, and you are in a position to do it, you kill the terrorist and you make sure that s/he is dead. You don't risk the lives of innocent civilians on the chance that you can save the terrorist's life. I'm not suggesting that you kill the terrorist once you have stopped the terror attack and the terrorist is in custody, as happened here 24 years ago. But until the terror attack has been stopped and civilian lives are no longer at risk, you worry first about stopping the terrorist and saving the civilians. In that respect the terrorist has assumed the risk that he will be killed, and his life becomes expendable.


At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bruno Stein and Mickie Levi - more stupid Jews.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - it seems G-d has revealed connections not just between Moshe Plesser and David Shapira but between Moshe Plesser and Batsheva Unterman. Its indeed a smaller world than we think. So if we want proof He exists and is intimately involved in every human life, that's the proof! I submit here and now the "small world syndrome" is not some random occurrence but the result of divine design. One can only draw the only logical conclusion - you can find G-d in evidence on that Jerusalem street!

At 3:32 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - I believe Batsheva was avenged by her second cousin Moshe. In other words, its not stretching things at all to see G-d saw her life would be taken and gave her family the opportunity to avenge her death. That is exactly how it played out. We may learn in due time the baby she saved is returned to the family by one means or another. So if you look at this chain of events, its not random at all either. It has a very precise cause and effect to them. The police didn't see that justice was done. But G-d saw to it the mother did not die unavenged and He also made sure the child would live. For out of a terrible loss came good. Do not think The True Judge Of The World is indifferent to matters of life and death and good and evil. We can see His lessons for our lives if we know where to look for them!

At 3:49 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

One last comment: when one is dealing with someone evil, one puts that person to death - when the evildoer is bent on taking innocent lives. There is nothing complicated about right and wrong! If the police brass in Israel do not grasp it, they need to be shown the door and replaced by people who do get it. The Torah says you shall not stand by while your brother's blood is being shed. He who does not save a life when it falls on Him to do so will incur bloodguilt and G-d will not forgive that person. Those officers who failed to act may not like what is written in the Book Of Life about them in Heaven. To Bruno Stein and Miki Levy there is a message: saving a human life is not a matter of discretion: for a Jew it is a matter of a binding religious obligation! Let's hope that is heeded next time.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

So are these rules written down anywhere, or do prosecutors just make them up when they want to put someone on trial for taking out a bad guy?

At 4:08 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I don't know. But let's bear in mind when we come to the matter of repentance, the Yom Kippur liturgy is about G-d forgive sins against Him. He has no power to forgive our sins against our fellow man. The police's personnel may want to keep that in mind when they step into the synagogue. If by their inaction, an innocent person was allowed to die, then they will find they will not have that sin atoned on the Day Of Judgment. We have to be very careful how we act around other people - we may get one chance to do right by them. And its in a moment of crisis that G-d sees who we truly are.

At 5:40 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

the policewomen killed the terrorist?????
they are really blocking out Plesser

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

Well, Daniel, I guess they're saying that it _looked temporarily like_ the policewoman had killed the terrorist, so the other policeman in the cab wasn't supposed to shoot him again, because it looked like he was already neutralized.

What's funny in this is that no one is applying this to the SWAT guy who came up and took his head (essentially) off after Plesser shot him three times. If anyone can be said to have shot the terrorist when he appeared to have been already neutralized, it's the SWAT guy. But everyone realizes he was right to shoot him again just to make sure. Why isn't he considered to have broken some rules? Just because the guy had revived after the policewoman shot him? So what is this: Terrorists get one free revival before they can be shot to make sure they are dead?

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

I thought that after Mem and the security guard shot the terrorist that a border policeman shot the terrorist several more times.

This, I understood, was "confirming the kill," which I thought was standard police procedure in these cases.


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