Murdered rabbi’s daughter: ‘It’s gotten to where civilians defend soldiers’

Efrat Ettinger, whose father was killed by a terrorist on Sunday, blasts the situation where soldiers are afraid to act due to the threat of legal action against them.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Efrat Ettinger, the daughter of Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, killed in Sunday’s terrorist attack, criticized on Wednesday the prevailing legal atmosphere in Israel which causes soldiers to hesitate to use deadly force.

Omar Abu Leilah, who killed her father and Staff Sgt. Gal Qeidan died in a shootout with a SWAT Team on Tuesday northeast of Ramallah.

Upon hearing of the news, she told Israel’s Channel 13 that while it was “no comfort,” she was happy the terrorist was eliminated. The late rabbi’s daughter, who is 21, noted that her father didn’t speed away in his car after he was hit by the terrorist’s bullets but rather tried to shoot him with his own weapon, but to no avail.

Other soldiers at the Ariel junction where the terrorist began his attack shot at the terrorist, but only one of them, the commander, managed to wound Leilah. Nevertheless, the terrorist succeeding in escaping.

“I don’t know what was going through the soldiers’ heads there,” Ettinger stated, “but I can know that in our country there’s not much support for soldiers to try and reach the target.”

“We’ve gotten to a situation that a civilian has to protect a soldier,” she said.

Israel’s political right has contended for years that IDF lawyers have restrained soldiers from engaging with terrorists by enforcing onerous rules. They have also said that the legal system is too eager to punish soldiers who have used lethal force, leading to hesitation among soldiers to engage with the enemy.

On Tuesday, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a condolence call before the terrorist was captured, Efrat told him, “It’s impossible that a terrorist commits such an act and comes out alive.”

Netanyahu said that they have fixed a restriction regarding the death penalty, which has been used only once in Israeli history. According to Israel’s Channel 12, Efrat said: “That’s what they say at every condolence call after an incident like this and it doesn’t happen. It’s just talk.”

On Wednesday, Ettinger’s mother thanked the IDF for eliminating the terrorist. “We expect that the government of the State of Israel to fight to eradicate terrorism,” she said.

She also called for the expulsion of the terrorist’s entire family, who live in an Arab village in Samaria.