Israel Defense Forces: Palestinian man lying on the ground posed "no apparent threat to the soldiers and medics in the area"
An Israeli soldier was arrested on suspicion of murder after video emerged of the shooting in Hebron
An initial assessment into last week’s shooting of a wounded Palestinian man suspected in a knife attack as he was lying on the ground has found that the Palestinian posed “no apparent threat to the soldiers and medics in the area,” according to the Israel Defense Forces.
An Israeli soldier, not named by the IDF, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of murder after video emerged of the shooting in Hebron.
The IDF’s initial assessment concluded that the soldier who carried out the shooting arrived six minutes after the initial stabbing attack and a few more minutes elapsed before the soldier shot the suspect. According to the IDF, the company commander at the scene and two junior officers have also been reprimanded for not providing medical attention to the Palestinian before the shooting.
The Palestinian, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, 21, was one of two suspects accused of stabbing an Israeli soldier at the scene moments earlier, the IDF said on Thursday. The second Palestinian suspect, Ramzi Qasrawi Tamimi, 21, was shot and killed at the scene.
“An Israeli soldier can be seen shooting the injured al-Sharif,” said B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization that shot the video. “The incident happens in the plain view of many other soldiers and officers, who do not seem to take any notice. The soldiers and medical teams are seen in the video treating the lightly injured soldier while ignoring the two seriously injured youths.”
Following the attack, the IDF condemned the shooting, calling it a “grave breach of IDF values.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said echoed those comments, saying “it is forbidden for a person, even when his blood is boiling, to lose his head and self-control. This incident will be dealt with in the most serious way.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also weighed in with the following statement: “What happened … in Hebron does not represent the values of the IDF. The IDF expects its soldiers to behave level-headedly and in accordance with the rules of engagement.”
The soldier, who is currently detained, is expected to appear before a military judge Tuesday.
Despite the condemnations, the Hebron shooting has sparked a debate in Israel about whether the soldier was justified in his actions. Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Education Minister and head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, has criticised Netanyahu for not supporting the soldier.
Palestinian Minister of Health Dr. Jawad al-Awad called the shooting a “war crime,” and urged the international community to protect Palestinians. “This is very clear evidence that Israeli soldiers are committing field executions documented by cameras against Palestinian civilians,” said al-Awad on Thursday.
“The terrible pictures that were shot in Hebron… shocked me, and they need to shock every person that has a conscience and everyone who has not lost their moral judgment in the terrible reality of the past months,” said Dov Khenin, an Arab-Israeli politician from the Joint Arab List.