Doctor says autopsy backs murder case against Israeli soldier

Autopsy of Palestinian man backs manslaughter case against Israeli soldier who was caught on video shooting victim in head, doctor says

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israeli soldiers carry the dead body of Abdul Fatah al Sharif, who was shot dead by Israeli troops in Tal Rumaida in the West Bank city of Hebron March 24, 2016.

The autopsy results of a Palestinian man showed that he was killed after an Israeli soldier shot him in the head, confirming the case of manslaughter against the Israeli soldier, a doctor chosen to carry out the autopsy by the victims family, with the permission of Israel's Supreme Court, said on Sunday.  

A lawsuit was filed against the 19-year old IDF soldier after video footage taken on March 24 in the occupied West Bank showed him shooting the 21-year old wounded Palestinian man Abdul Fatah al Sharif, who was lying on the ground, directly in the head, despite his unconscious state. 

Some in the Israeli parliament defended the soldiers' actions saying that he only ''neutralised'' the young Palestinian man who allegedly carried out a knife attack against another Israeli soldier.

The soldiers' lawyer also argued that the Palestinian could have been wearing explosives and therefore posing great danger.   

However, human rights organisations and advocates indicated that no one in the video appeared to be acting with caution towards the Palestinian man. They said that the video showed that the Israeli soldier shot the victim without there being any apparent provocations. 

B’Tselem, Israeli Human rights organisation that released the video, said the killing was against the law, and that ''the execution without law and without trial is a direct result of impassioned discussion of ministers and elected officials and the public atmosphere of dehumanisation," and called for restricting the actions of IDF soldiers in response to alleged Palestinian attackers.

The Palestinian man had reportedly already been checked for explosives under his jacket. 

The 19-year old solider, who was reported by army radio as saying to his comrades that the Palestinian man ''deserves to die'', has not yet been charged. 

Doctor Rayan al Ali told AFP on Sunday that the full autopsy showed that the fatal wound was in the head of al Sharif.

“There were several gunshot wounds. All those were in the muscles, the lower limbs, and there was a wound in his right lung, but it was not fatal and did not lead to his death,” he said.

According to local media, a source close to the investigation said another autopsy conducted by an Israeli forensic team also came to the same conclusion.

Israeli officials have not immediately commented on the autopsy results.

The case is the latest of Israeli violence in Palestine’s occupied West Bank which once again flared up on September 13, after Israeli forces stormed into al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem and attacked Muslim worshippers while damaging the structure revered holy by both Muslim and Jewish faiths.

According to current figures, five months of violence claimed the lives of at least 200 Palestinians, 28 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritean and a Sudanese national.

TRTWorld and agencies