Yuval Doron Castleman’s father described his death as an execution.
JNS Staff Report
December 3, 2023
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a “thorough inquiry” into the killing of Yuval Doron Castleman, 37, whom an IDF soldier shot after the armed civilian stopped a terrorist attack in Jerusalem last week.
“Yuval Doron Castleman is a hero of Israel. In a supreme act of bravery, Yuval saved many lives. However, unfortunately, a terrible tragedy occurred there and the man who had saved others was killed. There must be a thorough inquiry,” Netanyahu said after speaking on the phone with Castleman’s father.
“I spoke today with Yuval’s father Moshe, the salt of the earth, a Zionist family, an exemplary family. I and the entire nation mourn with them over the death of a hero of Israel.”
Moshe Castleman earlier on Sunday said that the soldier allegedly responsible “carried out an execution” and demanded an investigation, saying that no officials had reached out to the family since the incident.
Three Israelis were killed and six other people were wounded on the morning of Nov. 30 in the terrorist shooting on Weizman Boulevard at the main entrance to Jerusalem.
Yuval Castleman was driving on the other side of the road from the bus stop where the attack took place. He exited his vehicle, walked across the street and engaged the two Hamas terrorists, who had already killed three people.
The two off-duty soldiers and Castleman managed to kill the Hamas gunmen but Castleman was then mistaken for an additional assailant and fired upon.
Surveillance video footage shows that Castleman was shot after putting his weapon down and putting his hands in the air. He reportedly yelled, “Look at my ID, I’m Jewish.”
Yuval “did everything he needed to do so they could identify him. He went down on his knees, opened his jacket to show he didn’t have any explosives on him, yelled at them, ‘Don’t shoot, I’m Jewish, I’m Israeli,’ and they continued to shoot him,” Moshe said.
“How is it possible to think he was a terrorist? It’s inconceivable,” he said.
Moshe said that Yuval had served in the Border Police and Israel Police before becoming a lawyer.
Netanyahu drew criticism for his response to the shooting during a press briefing on Saturday night, in which he said that “the reality of armed civilians is that many times it saves lives and prevents a big disaster. In the current situation, the policy should be continued. We may pay a price for it, that’s life.”
War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz tweeted on Sunday that “the case of Yuval the hero is not ‘life,’ but a warning sign that requires learning lessons that will save lives in the future. Of blessed memory.”