Soldier Who Shot Downed Palestinian in Head Thought He Had Suicide Vest
In a newly public video that documents the scene of Thursday’s controversial shooting of a Palestinian terrorist in Hebron, an Israeli can be heard warning that the Palestinian may be wearing an explosive vest.
Army Radio published the video on its website and Twitter feed on Friday. In it, paramedics are seen carrying the soldier wounded by the Palestinian terrorists when someone out of the camera frame, which the army purposely blurred, says, “He apparently has an explosive on him, pay attention! Nobody touches him until bomb disposal arrives.”
Four seconds later, one of the paramedics carrying the soldier — a man who 20 seconds earlier had said, “That terrorist is still alive, the dog. Don’t let him get up!” — cries in a panic, “He’s alive! Somebody do something!”
The video then abruptly ends.
A separate video published Thursday by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem shows an Israeli soldier shot the supine Palestinian in the head while he lay unattended on the pavement.
The incident in Hebron took place shortly after the Palestinian terrorist and a fellow assailant stabbed an Israeli soldier in the area. The other assailant was immediately killed, while the wounded terrorist was felled. In the B’Tselem video, the wounded Palestinian can be seen lying on the pavement and slightly moving his head, which had blood around it. A minute or so into the video, a soldier shoots the prone Palestinian in the head.
The incident triggered an immediate inquiry by the Israeli military police, and the soldier was arrested and questioned in what is being considered a murder investigation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon were among those who condemned the soldier’s actions. Netanyahu said the incident “doesn’t represent the values of the Israel Defense Forces.”
On Friday, the United Nations’ special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, said he strongly condemned the apparent “extrajudicial execution” of the Palestinian.
Under questioning, the soldier said he fired at the terrorist because he feared he would set off an explosive device. He said his unit has been briefed three weeks ago on a Hamas team planning to fire on troops and set off explosives. His lawyer said the video proves he acted in accordance with the rules of engagement for preventing immediate threats.
The Ma’an news agency identified the Palestinian terrorists killed in the incident as Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif and Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, both 21-year-olds from Hebron.
Israel’s education minister, Naftali Bennett, told Army Radio, “Had the terrorist been wearing an explosive vest, the soldier would have been considered a national hero.”