Israeli military to charge soldier with manslaughter

After execution-style shooting of wounded Palestinian, military prosecutors to press manslaughter charge, not murder.

    Israeli soldiers cover the body of the Palestinian man shot dead in Hebron on March 24 [EPA]
    Israeli soldiers cover the body of the Palestinian man shot dead in Hebron on March 24 [EPA]

    The Israeli military on Thursday said prosecutors have announced their intention to file a manslaughter charge against a soldier caught on video shooting a wounded Palestinian attacker in the head.

    The soldier appeared in a military court, where his detention was extended until Monday. The military said that prosecutors informed the court that they plan to charge the soldier with manslaughter, but are still working out technical details before formally indicting him.

    The shooting took place last month in Hebron, a West Bank city that has been a focal point of a seven-month wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

     Palestinians shot dead after attacking bus

    At the time, the military said two Palestinians stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier before troops shot and killed the pair.

    But in a video later released by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, one of the attackers was shown still alive after the initial shooting.

    The video, taken by a Palestinian volunteer for the group, shows the wounded attacker lying on the ground, slowly moving his head before a soldier raises his rifle and fires. Blood is then seen streaming from the Palestinian's head. An autopsy determined that the bullet to the head was the cause of death.

    The incident has triggered uproar in Israel with the country's defence minister, military officials and many Israelis calling it contrary to the army's values. That has led to widespread support for the soldier, with many calling his actions appropriate for a country reeling from months of attacks.

    More than 200 Palestinians have been killed and at least 33 Israelis and foreign nationals have died since violence erupted in October.

    On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that "extremist elements" are attempting to rekindle violence in the run-up to the Jewish holiday of Passover.

    Speaking at a pre-Passover ceremony, Netanyahu said Israel had sent messages to Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and "the entire Arab world" in attempt to calm tensions.

    He said Israel would increase security forces and use "additional defensive measures" to respond to possible riots.

     Israeli soldier to face court over West Bank shooting



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