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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Death at the Kotel may have been murder

The death of Doron Ben Shlush (pictured) last Friday at the entrance to the Kotel (Western Wall) plaza may not have been accidental. You may recall that the security guard who shot him claimed that Ben Shlush had yelled Allah-hu-Akhbar and pulled something out of his pocket. It now appears that Ben Shlush did nothing of the sort. Instead, he was involved in a verbal altercation with the security guard, 25-year old Hadi Kabalan, a Druze from Beit Jann, that Ben Shlush shouted a racial epithet and that Kabalan pulled a weapon and shot him ten times. Kabalan may now be charged with murder.
The court lifted a gag order on the identity of the shooter; he is 25-year-old Border Police officer Hadi Kabalan from the Druse village of Beit Jann in the Upper Galilee.
Kabalan says he shot Ben- Shalush several times because he thought he was a terrorist, but police suspect a verbal confrontation in which Ben-Shalush shouted a racial slur at Kabalan may have motivated the shooting.
Kabalan is being held for alleged manslaughter; however, he may be charged with murder when an indictment against him is filed.
Kabalan has said Ben- Shalush shouted “Allahu akbar” and reached into his pocket, thus leading him to believe that Ben-Shalush was a terrorist. However police now say Ben-Shalush may have yelled curses at Kabalan about his Druse heritage before the shooting.
At Kabalan’s previous remand hearing, the transcripts of which were released on Sunday, his lawyer bristled at the charges and the suggestion by the prosecution that his client, who has spent most of his career in various security services and with highly positive reviews, was a flight risk or might obstruct the investigation.
The lawyer added that the guard had never served in the Western Wall area before, contributing to his not recognizing Ben- Shalush, who was a regular in the area.
But the Times of Israel is reported on Sunday that not only did Kabalan know Ben Shalush, this was not the first confrontation between them
Multiple witness told Maariv that the guard, a 25-year-old Druze man from northern Israel, and the victim, 46-year-old Doron Ben Shlush, had multiple verbal altercations during the short time that the guard had been employed at the site. One fellow security guard said that the shooter, whose identity has not been released, previously told his superiors that Ben Shlush had threatened to kill him. 

There are a large number of 'regulars' at sunrise at the Kotel - I know some of them. If Ben Shalush was a regular, it's hard to believe that someone could legitimately have suspected him of being a terrorist.

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