By Palestine Chronicle Staff
Accounts emerging from Israel, following an alleged Palestinian attack near the beach in Tel Aviv on Friday evening, seem contradictory, to say the least.
A Palestinian was accused of opening fire at a group of beach-goers, killing an Italian tourist, before being shot dead by the Israeli police. That same Palestinian was also accused of car ramming that seemed to happen in a different spot around that area.
No camera footage was provided of the actual shooting or of the weapon allegedly used in the attack. Also, the identity of the Palestinian attacker has changed from being an Arab Israeli citizen to a Palestinian from the occupied territories.
Below is a comprehensive analysis from the Palestinian news agency WAFA, raising many questions about the conflicting Israeli account of the alleged attack.
Two statements issued by the Israeli police on Friday night revealed contradictions in the story about the alleged car-ramming in Tel Aviv, which resulted in the death of an Italian tourist and the injury of five others.
According to what was reported by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Authority, Kan 11, the initial Israeli police statement claimed that a weapon was in the possession of the vehicle’s driver. A second statement confirmed that, in actuality, the driver was in possession of a plastic toy weapon.
The Israeli police did not publish any picture of the weapon, which it initially claimed was in the driver’s possession.
In the meantime, the Shin Bet did not confirm that the background to the incident was nationalistic, which contradicts similar earlier incidents.
Moreover, the latest statement by the Israeli police said that the circumstances of the incident are being investigated by the Central Unit in the Tel Aviv Police Department and by the Shin Bet.
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According to Kan, the preliminary investigation stated that the vehicle which Yousef Abu Jaber was driving belonged to his wife and was not stolen, as most Israeli media claimed at the beginning. It also confirmed that Abu Jaber was in possession of a plastic toy gun.
The official Israeli Broadcasting Authority claimed that the Tel Aviv incident was a double operation and included a run-over operation followed by a shooting, while the perpetrator was killed.
The Israeli Channel 12 said that the alleged attacker opened fire from his car window at passers-by, then his car overturned in the Charles Keller area, and as he tried to escape, the police killed him.
The initial Israeli police statement said that a car, traveling from north to south, hit four people near Charles Keller Park in Tel Aviv and that a police officer, who was at a nearby gas station, heard a noise and noticed a car turned over while several people were lying on the ground.
The policeman approached the car with inspectors from the Tel Aviv Municipality Police and noticed that the driver was trying to reach his weapon. The policeman and the inspectors neutralized the driver and killed him, according to the police, which did not publish any picture of the weapon.
In a statement issued later, and contradicting the initial one, the Israel police stated that the officer spotted the driver trying to reach for a gun-like object he had on him, and then they neutralized him.
The Israeli media rushed to confirm that the perpetrator of the alleged attack was a young man from Kafr Qassem due to the presence of his Israeli identity card in the vehicle he was driving. It later reported that the perpetrator was from the occupied West Bank, adding that the Israeli police are examining the identity card that was found in the car.