Soldier Who Shot Subdued Palestinian Assailant in Hebron to Be Charged With Manslaughter

Prosecution requests remand be extended against soldier, who says he 'used reasonable force' in controversial case.

The accused soldier in military court in Jaffa on Thursday, April 14, 2016.
Moti Milrod

The Israeli soldier who shot dead a subdued Palestinian assailant in Hebron will be charged with manslaughter, the military prosecution announced on Thursday in the military court in Jaffa.

The prosecution requested that remand against the soldier be extended until Monday in order to present the court with an indictment in that time. The soldier's lawyers opposed the motion, but the court ruled in favor, effectively extending remand on the accused through Monday.

The soldier originally faced a potential murder charge after a video emerged in March in which he could be seen cocking his rifle and shooting a prone and subdued Palestinian who, moments before, had tried to stab another Israeli soldier. An autopsy later revealed that the shot to the head had resulted in the Palestinian's death. Just a few days prior to the autopsy, a military tribunal ruled that charges against the soldier would be reduced to manslaughter.

The accused soldier has maintained that he shot the Palestinian assailant out of fear that he was moving to detonate an explosive device and a defense attorney read out in court on Thursday several quotes spoken by the soldier during his questioning.

"I used reasonable force with one shot," read the attorney. "I fired one shot to neutralize the danger I feared. I made a difficult, split-second decision to shoot in order to neutralize the threat. If there had been an explosive device, I would be in a graveyard rather than a courtroom."

The soldier has been kept throughout proceedings in what was labeled "open detention," during which time he was forbidden to leave a designated military base.