In apparent suicide, young Jewish woman rushes at checkpoint with toy gun, shot dead by IDF soldiers
Former IDF soldier wrote her intentions to a friend prior to attack
A former Israeli soldier was shot dead at a checkpoint near Hebron on Tuesday evening.
The young woman was dressed in black and veiled when she arrived at the checkpoint, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great in Arabic) and brandishing an airsoft gun, making the Israeli soldiers think she's a terrorist about to attack them.
Israel’s Ministry of Defense reported that the guards “reacted quickly and neutralized her before she could open fire.” Only later was it revealed that the apparent weapon was an airsoft gun and that the young woman was a former soldier attempting to kill herself in an act often referred to as “suicide by cop.”
Israel’s N12 news reported on the incident after a male friend of the young woman leaked a WhatsApp conversation. In the online exchange, the former soldier asked about someone who wanted to die by rushing a checkpoint with an airsoft gun, shouting, “Allahu Akbar!” [God is greater!]
He responded by asking, “Is that someone you?”
The young woman also expressed concerns about what would happen to such a person if they were not killed but only “shot in the legs.”
The friend contacted the police after receiving a photo of the woman dressed in a niqab garment, fully covered from head to toe, and holding the airsoft gun. She also wrote to him that she was on a bus and heading to a checkpoint to carry out an attack to kill herself.
“If you hear about someone on the news, tell them I want a Jewish burial,” she reportedly told him.
The friend allegedly made a call to the Jerusalem Police to give her phone number and personal details, however, the information did not reach the checkpoint until just after the incident occurred, according to N12.
The friend expressed anger at the delay, saying the police should have alerted the checkpoint immediately.
“The police told me that these are two different cases and that they are trying to locate her. But she has a phone on her, so why is there a problem locating her?” he argued. “Maybe her life could have been saved.”
The young woman, who had served in the Israel Defense Forces, had a history of mental health issues and had recently lost a friend to suicide. She served in the IDF as a lone soldier, with no family support. Incidents of suicide in the IDF are reportedly higher among lone soldiers.
Tuesday’s incident also highlights concerns about the increasing number of suicides or attempted suicides by current and former IDF soldiers, in general.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.