Cop rapped for yeshiva inaction


A Jerusalem policeman was censured for not intervening during the shooting spree at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva.

Jerusalem Police Chief Aharon Franco, appearing Wednesday before the Knesset Interior Committee, said a patrolman outside who blocked the yeshiva’s gates rather than storming in to fight the gunman had been “wrong and unprofessional.”

Franco was delivering initial findings on the March 6 massacre of eight students at Mercaz HaRav by a Palestinian gunman.

According to Franco, the policeman who was drawn to the scene by the sound of gunfire argued that he had wanted to keep other civilians out of harm’s way.

An off-duty army officer rushed past the patrolman and with an armed yeshiva student inside the building killed the gunman.

No decision has been made on disciplinary actions against the policeman, Franco said.

Asked about the gunman, east Jerusalem courier Ala Abu Dhaim, Franco said there had been no intelligence warnings indicating he posed a security threat. But after the massacre, authorities discovered that Abu Dhaim recently had become more observant in his Muslim faith and been involved in small arms theft.

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