Israeli soldier who shot a wounded Palestinian assailant charged with manslaughter

An Israeli soldier  shot a  Palestinian man, who was suspected in a knife attack   in the head as he lies injured on the street in Hebron in  the occupied West Bank
An Israeli soldier shot a Palestinian man, who was suspected in a knife attack in the head as he lies injured on the street in Hebron in the occupied West Bank

The Israeli military filed manslaughter charges on Monday against a soldier who shot a wounded Palestinian assailant as he lay on the ground in a killing a poll said many Israelis felt was justified.

The defendant – a conscript infantry medic whose name has been barred from publication – was captured on video firing once into the head of the Palestinian after the man had been shot by other soldiers while taking part in a March 24 stabbing attack.

The incident in Hebron, a city in the occupied West Bank that has been a focus of a six-month-old wave of Palestinian street violence, tapped into international controversy over whether Israeli security forces’ response has been heavy-handed.

Defense lawyers say the soldier took action, fearing the Palestinian had a hidden bomb. Prosecutors, citing the testimony by the soldier’s comrades and his apparently calm disposition, see it as an illegal shooting motivated by revenge.

The soldier was initially held on a murder warrant. The lighter manslaughter charge, reflecting a view that the killing was not premeditated, could spell a jail term of up to 20 years.

“The terrorist … was left lying on the ground, still alive, and did not present any immediate and tangible danger to the civilians and soldiers around him,” the manslaughter indictment said.

It said the accused handed his helmet to a comrade, cocked his rifle, walked a few steps toward the Palestinian and “fired one bullet at the terrorist’s head”, causing his death.

Such action, the charge sheet said, violated rules of engagement and had no “operational justification”.

An opinion poll last month found 57 percent of Israelis think the soldier should never been arrested. His supporters, including some rightist politicians, have demonstrated for his release. Almost 60,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that he be decorated for heroism.

The soldier’s family and supporters planned to hold a rally, under the slogan of “you don’t abandon a warrior”, in a main square in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

Two popular Israeli singers initially said they would perform at the gathering but later withdrew, saying they feared the event would have political overtones and be seen as a protest against military authorities.

The outcry over the Hebron incident has flagged up rare rifts over the role and ethics of Israel’s conscript armed forces, long the symbol of unity among the majority Jews where deep concern about security is largely shared across the social and political spectrum.





7 responses to “Israeli soldier who shot a wounded Palestinian assailant charged with manslaughter”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    It is the definite minority, one can hope, who think this is the action of a ‘warrior’ who should be ‘decorated for heroism’. Pumping a bullet into a wounded immobile body, which was being left for dead anyway while everyone attended to a soldier with a knife-scratch, cannot be construed in any manner as being heroic … unless they try to defend him as aiding a suicide. Ludicrous.

    1. Rudy1947 Avatar

      Until such time as the “suicide bomber” has been rendered extinct, the threat will remain.

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Somebody left a lunch-bag on a chair here … cleared a mall. Live with the fear as you wish.

        1. Rudy1947 Avatar

          If “here” is in Canada, then you have to live with it.

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            I don’t. I can go anywhere I wish … although that is rarely to any mall.
            I’d open a lunch-bag if one was available …

      2. man-o-war Avatar

        Really? Everyone looked so concerned and frightened for their life in the video. Get real! Lucky there was video evidence for this crime.

    2. Hannibal Avatar

      Another religion of pieces 😉

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