A man who shot an alleged criminal during an altercation on Friday has reportedly been put under the highest level of police security. The 22-year-old lifeguard shot the man in the leg on a Bat Yam beach. He claims he fired in self-defense after he was threatened with a knife.
The 44-year-old man who was shot and seriously wounded was named by Channel 12 as Dudu Abergil. He is reportedly a known criminal.
Witnesses at the scene backed up the lifeguard’s claim that he shot the man in self-defense. They were quoted as saying that Abergil approached the lifeguard with an object that looked like a weapon and said he was a member of a crime family.
According to reports Sunday in Hebrew media, the lifeguard was put under house arrest after being released from detention by a magistrate’s court, though his claim of self-defense was accepted by police and the judge. A gag order barring publication of any details of the incident, including the identity of the lifeguard, is in place.
“He fears for his life,” Channel 12 quoted an acquaintance of the lifeguard as saying. “He acted in self-defense and meant no harm.” The man added that the lifeguard and Abergil began arguing minutes before the shooting.
The lifeguard is now under 24-hour police protection, according to reports.
The reports said Abergil and his twin brother have been convicted in the past for serious violent offenses such as placing bombs and illegal weapons trade. Both have served several prison sentences.
There has been a 61 percent increase in homicides in Israel in 2023 compared to 2022, with over 130 Israelis killed in violent incidents since the beginning of the year.