Photo: B'Tselem
B'Tselem video of the incident
Photo: B'Tselem
Photo: Meir Azulay
Lt. Col. Burberg
Photo: Meir Azulay
The detainee, Ashraf Abu Rahma
Photo: Najib
Injury caused to Abu Rahma

Army defends punishment of Naalin commander

IDF responds to High Court petition questioning 'leniency' of indictment against Naalin regiment commander who held bound Palestinian detainee while soldier shot him with rubber-coated steel bullet, military advocate insists transfer of Lt. Col. from his post constitutes dismissal

The IDF says the Lt. Col. Omri Burberg, who held a Palestinian detainee while a soldier fired a rubber-coated steel bullet towards his foot, had only intended to frighten the detainee and did not expect the soldier to fire; and that therefore the decision to indict him on charges of conduct unbecoming was reflective of the offense itself.


This from the response submitted to the High Court of Justice on Tuesday by Military Advocate General, Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit following a petition accusing the army of being too lenient in its indictment of Burberg.


Mendelblit additionally said that as far as the military was concerned – the transferring of the commander from his position and reprimanding his conduct – was tantamount to a dismissal.


The court ordered the army to respond to the petition filed by several human rights groups last month. The petition was filed by B'Tselem, Yesh Din, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, and the injured Palestinian, Ashraf Abu-Rahma.


The court issued an interim order suspending the legal proceedings, as well as order-nisi compelling the Military Prosecution to explain within a 21-day time period, its reasons for including just the legally-light charges of conduct unbecoming in the indictment filed against the commander.


The army maintains Burberg did not expect the soldier to discharge his weapon, and as evidence of this cites the fact that immediately after the shot was fired the Lt. Col. jumped up and shoved the soldier, yelling at him for having fired towards a bound man.


The army also asserted that the Lt. Col. never gave the soldier an order to aim or fire his weapon at Abu-Rahma.


 Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 09.16.08, 19:48
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