Israeli soldier’s killing of Palestinian stirs outrage

IDF soldier's killing of injured Palestinian lying on ground sparks uproar in Israel and Palestine and divides Netanyahu's government

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Mourners at the funeral of the Palestinian shot dead by an Israeli soldier last week.

Updated Apr 4, 2016

Video footage showing an Israeli soldier killing a wounded Palestinian lying on the ground sparked friction on Sunday in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’'s cabinet as some criticised “excessive use of violence” against Palestinians.

According to Israeli media, left-wing ministers accused the Israeli Army of eroding the nation’s morals with routine extra-judicial killings while, far-right minister Naftali Bennett, who defended the killing, sparred with Netanyahu over the issue at a cabinet meeting on Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, March 27, 2016.

Amateur footage released by Israeli Human Rights group B'Tselem showed alleged Palestinian knife attacker Abdel Fattah al Sharif Ramzi al Ksraooi wounded and lying on the ground in Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. In the video he is seen to be first ignored by medical staff and Israeli soldiers and then shot dead at close range by a soldier while he was still alive and defenceless.

Another IDF soldier, also seen in the video, can be observed tying his shoes next to him while he is in need of help.

A second video released on March 27 by the organisation also showed the soldier who shot Sharif in the first video shaking hands with Baruch Marzel, a well-known ultra-nationalist settler leader, after the shooting.

Army radio said just before the shooting the soldier who killed Sharif twice told comrades “he deserves to die,” even after the troops determined that he posed no danger.

The military said the soldier who killed the Palestinian has been arrested on suspicion of murder. If charged, he could be the first Israeli soldier to be officially charged with the murder of a Palestinian since the current wave of violence began in October.

Stating that the killing was against the law, B'’Tselem said ''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 reponses by the Israeli Army to alleged Palestinian attackers.

Israeli security forces inspect the scene as the dead body of one of two Palestinians is covered in Tal Rumaida in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Netanyahu first reacted to the shooting on Thursday by saying the soldier’;s action “does not represent the values of the IDF,  but later on Sunday said he was certain that in any event - including the current incident - an inquiry would take “all the surrounding conditions into account.

The conflict in Palestine and Israel has been escalating for the last 5 months after Israeli troops stormed Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, attacking civilian Muslim worshippers and damaging the mosque.

Since the beginning of October 2015 at least 200 Palestinians have been killed in the violence, along with 28 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese national.

The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) said in a statement in late February that at least 15,645 Palestinians had been injured by Israeli gunfire, 1,418 of whom were struck by heavy ammunition, while another 3,153 have sustained injuries from rubber bullets.

TRTWorld and agencies