The IDF decided Sunday to dismiss the commander of the force which shot and killed a Palestinian man near the village of Kusra last month. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that the decision to decommission the Haruv Battalion lieutenant was also based on a prior record.
"The officer was dismissed following several operational and disciplinary events," a statement said.
On Friday September 23, hours before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas presented his statehood bid at the UN, a Palestinian man was killed in the West Bank by an IDF force.
Funeral for Palestinian man in Kusra (Photo: AFP)
The incident was labeled an "operational failure." The inquiry indicated that the officer made an error in judgement when he decided to open fire at protesters in Kfar Kusra. The officer said that his team felt threatened and outnumbered in the face of 200 demonstrators, some of whom were hurling stones.
IDF sources said the incident might have enflamed the entire West Bank at what was a particularly sensitive weekend. The IDF aimed to contain the protests surrounding the Palestinian UN bid with a minimum of casualties. Forces were equipped with various crowd dispersal means including gas and shock grenades as well as odor and noise weapons.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz instructed commanders to take the lead on the ground so in times of conflict officers, rather than lower-ranking soldiers, could exercise sober judgment.
The IDF regarded the fact that the officer ignored these instructions as particularly grave. He will stay in the IDF but not in a combat capacity.
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