The prosecution has announced that it is dropping the indictment against Ze'ev Braude, the West Bank settler who was alleged to have shot two Palestinians at close range during the evacuation of a disputed house in Hebron in December 2008, and was caught on film doing so.
Ze'ev Braude, 51, of Kiryat Arba, is alleged to have shot two Palestinians at close range during the evacuation of a disputed house in Hebron.
Braude, a Kiryat Arba resident, turned himself in to police last week after an activist with the B'Tselem human rights group caught him on film shooting at Palestinians at short range and hitting two.
During the evacuation of the house in Hebron, Braude approached the Matriya family residence, drew his gun and shouted at the family members to go inside, the indictment says.
Hosni Matriya, 44, went up to Braude and told to leave. Braude struck him and aimed his gun at him, said the indictment. Hosni's father, Abed el-Hai, 67, walked up and asked Braude to leave. Braude pushed el-Hai. Other family members came to help push Braude away and he fired at them. The first bullet passed close to one man's head and the second one hit Hosni's chest. A third bullet hit el-Hai's arm. El-Hai and two family members attacked Braude and stopped him from again firing his gun. They held him until Kiryat Arba residents arrived and took him away, the indictment says.
Hosni, who was shot in the chest, is awaiting surgery to take out shrapnel that remains around the wound. El-Hai, whose arm was broken, has been operated on twice and his arm has been set with screws.
The prosecution said that the evidence proves that "Braude initiated the incident at the plaintiff's house, which was out of his way. During the argument with the plaintiffs he struck his fist into the face of one of them. At this stage none of the plaintiffs was acting violently. The father of the family wrestled with him to stop the shooting - during the wrestling the defendant shot him as well."
Jamal Abu Safan, a relative of the injured Palestinian, told Haaretz that the court's decision shows "how racist Israel and its justice system are." He demanded that an independent body investigate the case.
Braude's lawyer, attorney Ariel Atari, responded that the Palestinian claiming to have been injured can be viewed in the video getting up after allegedly being shot and continuing to hurl stones and strike Braude.
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