The widow of a Jerusalem man who was accidently killed by police gunfire during a terrorist attack last month has met the police women who fired the shots. In an emotional meeting this week she said she does not blame them and that they acted correctly in a complicated situation.
On 23 December 2015, two Palestinian terrorists attacked Israelis outside the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. In the attack they stabbed and killed one Israeli and seriously wounded another. Driving nearby in his car, Ofer Ben-Ari was the first to react to the attack. He quickly exited his vehicle and ran toward the attackers to try and stop them.
At that moment two police officers opened fire on the terrorists, killing one and seriously wounding the other. Unfortunately, Ofer was also hit and killed by the officers’ bullets.
Yifat Ben-Ari, the widow of Ofer, met with the police women who accidently killed her husband. “I am not angry at you,” Yifat told the policewomen. “You did exactly what you needed to do to save lives.”
“I consider you my daughters,” she continued. “I want you to start anew and not look back, but forward. What happened to you could have happened to my daughters or anyone else.”
At the meeting, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan praised Ofer Ben-Ari as a “hero of Israel”, and said he left his car to stop the terrorists.
“Despite the terrible tragedy, the border police who arrived at the scene responded precisely as was expected of them,” Erdan said.
Ben-Ari’s two daughters also attended the meeting and along with their mother embraced the policewomen.