Inhuman zionist soldier not to face murder charge for execution
An Israeli soldier who killed a Palestinian apparently already incapacitated in al-Khalil (Hebron) will be prosecuted for manslaughter and not murder.
The Israeli army said at a court hearing on Thursday that military prosecutors had reduced the anticipated murder charge to manslaughter. Under Israeli law, manslaughter signifies an intentional killing but one that was not premeditated.
The Israeli trooper shot at the head of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, who was lying wounded by Israeli fire on the ground after an alleged stabbing attack in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on March 24. Another Palestinian filmed the scene and released it through an Israeli human rights group.
Ilan Katz, the lawyer for the 19-year-old Israeli soldier, welcomed the prosecutors’ decision. “The significance from our point of view is that, first of all, the prosecution has climbed down.”
The soldier and his lawyers claimed at the court hearings that he was defending himself against the Palestinian, even as he could be seen in the video lying wounded and motionless on the ground.
The soldier said he thought the Palestinian was wearing an explosive belt. However, other soldiers who were present at the time of the deadly shooting told the court that the shooter had said before the incident that the Palestinian “was alive and deserved to die.”
Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, earlier said that the footage from the incident shows “all the signs of a clear case of an extrajudicial execution.”
“Whatever legal regime one applies to the case, shooting someone who is no longer a threat is murder,” he said.
Israeli soldiers have repeatedly been accused of using excessive force against Palestinians.
Apart from condemnation of the killings by human rights groups, a number of American lawmakers wrote to the US State Department in February to urge it to look into possible “extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians by Israeli forces.