Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon condemned an incident in which an Israeli soldier allegedly shot an incapacitated Palestinian who had stabbed an Israeli soldier.
The soldier, shown in a video (warning: graphic images) released Thursday by Israeli NGO B’Tselem was arrested. According to the Times of Israel, he is currently the subject of a Military Police murder investigation.
Yaalon said Thursday that the case would be handled “with all due severity,” saying the soldier’s apparent actions were “in utter breach of IDF values and of our code of ethics in combat.”
He added: “Even when the blood boils, we must not allow such loss of reason and such loss of control.”
In a statement, Netanyahu said, “What happened in Hebron doesn’t represent the values of the IDF. The IDF expects its soldiers to behave level-headedly and in accordance with the rules of engagement.”
In the video, the Palestinian assailant is seen lying on the ground barely moving surrounded by a group of soldiers. An Israeli soldier fires his weapon at the man from a few feet away. In the next frame, blood can be seen dripping from his body and flowing down the street.
The soldier, from the Kfir Brigade, repeated his previous claims at a military court Friday that he believed the Palestinian was carrying an explosive device, and could inflict harm upon civilians in the area. It is standard IDF procedure to operate under the assumption that an assailant is carrying weapons and explosive devices.
His lawyer, Eyal Beserglick, reiterated that his client was operating under the belief that the attacker was carrying an explosive device.
According to the Times of Israel, supporters of the soldier have posted a video online that they say proves he was right to be suspicious. In the video, one medic can be heard saying, “That terrorist is still alive, the dog! Don’t let him attack us!” while another voice yells, “It looks like he has a bomb on him. Until a sapper comes, nobody touches him!”
IDF spokesman Moti Almoz said the IDF was investigating all the soldiers who were present.
“It’s a very serious and atypical incident,” Almoz said, according to the Times of Israel.
In another army statement, the IDF called the incident an apparent “serious violation of the IDF code and of what is expected of IDF soldiers and officers.”
The Palestinian man was alleged to have been one of the perpetrators of an attack in which two assailants stabbed an Israeli soldier in Hebron, causing moderate wounds. Both attackers were shot dead by security forces at the scene, the Israeli army said.