Soldier says terrorist moved, could have set off a bomb
Family of soldier who was documented shooting a terrorist lying on the ground says they believe in his innocence, noting he is 'an exemplary fighter and combat medic'; soldier's lawyer claims attacker wore a coat that could conceal an explosive vest.
The soldier who was documented shooting a neutralized terrorist saw the terrorist move, thinking he might have been reaching to detonate a bomb, his lawyer said Thursday
"You can clearly see in the video that the terrorist moves, and that the terrorist is wearing a coat that could conceal an explosive vest and other explosives underneath," attorney Benjamin Malka said. "We are studying the case and will give our client proper representation."
Malka continued, "This is a process that is at its start. Things have yet to be deeply examined and I am saddened to see that a public trial has been conducted before the suspect has been given the right to defend his innocence." The soldier's family told the press that "We are studying things, and believe in the innocence of our son, who is an exemplary fighter and a combat medic."
A member of the Jewish community in Hebron, one of the first people to arrive at the scene, said that after a soldier was treated medically, calls of "get back, get back. The bomb technician hasn't arrived yet." Following this, he said, someone yelled "he's moving," and then a shot was heard. When the man turned around, he saw the shot terrorist.
A video filmed several minutes later by B'Tselem volunteer Emad abu-Shamsiyah shows one of the terrorists, Abed al Fatah a-Sharif, lying on the ground motionless, when an IDF soldier aims his weapon at him and shoots him in the head.
The video in question was filmed following an attack in which two terrorists armed with knives stabbed a soldier in the Hebron neighborhood of Tel Rumeida Thursday morning, moderately wounding him. The two attackers were shot and neutralized by soldiers from the IDF's Kfir infantry brigade. A few minutes later, one of the soldiers can be seen shooting one of the terrorists, Abed al Fatah a-Sharif, who was lying on the ground.
The Incident has caused concern among leaders of the Israeli defense establishment. IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Moti Almoz announced Thursday that the soldier was arrested and questioned. He mentioned that all those involved in the event will be questioned, and that it was "a very severe incident. This is not the IDF culture or the Jewish peoples' culture."
Brig. Gen. Almoz added, "As far as the orders given to soldiers are concerned, the moment terrorists are neutralized, soldiers are supposed to immediately give medical assistance to the wounded, including the terrorists. This is the IDF, these are the values of the IDF, and this is not up for interpretation. We are unambiguous about this."
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon responded to the video as well, saying, "The incident is highly severe, and completely contrary to the IDF's values and its combat morals. We must not allow, even as our blood boils, such a loss of faculties and control. This incident will be dealt with in the strictest manner. Our struggle against Palestinian terror, and terror in general, is determined and decisive. We have no intention of compromising on the issue of our citizens' and soldiers' security, and we are handling the terrorists and their dispatchers with an iron fist."