15-year-old Palestinian Was Shot to Death. Israeli Soldier Who Fired at Him Got One Month of Community Service

The soldier admitted that he had fired his weapon toward Othman Rami Halas, without the approval of his commanders ■ IDF sources: No proof that soldier's action caused death

An Israeli soldier was sentenced to a month of the military's equivalent of community service, and a downgrade to the rank of private, for endangering a life by deviating from orders in the case of the death of a Palestinian teenager in July 2018.

The soldier admitted in a plea bargain that he had fired his weapon towards Othman Rami Halas, which caused potential endangerment, and that he did not have the approval of his commanders for the fire, and did not act in compliance with the rules of engagement or any orders he had received.

IDF sources claim that no proof has been provided that the soldier's action actually caused Halas' death.

Othman Rami Halas.

While the plea bargain reduced the charges against the soldier to endangering life, it has not stated what the original charges had been. The soldier's identity remains under a gag order.

The army had not publicized the decision to try the soldier, or any details of the proceedings and ruling, which were reported last night by Channel 13 News.

The ruling states that the soldier fired towards Halas during a protest by the Karni crossing point east of Gaza City on July 13, 2018. Video uploaded to social media shows Halas standing by the separation fence with near several women and children waving Palestinian flags. At some stage, he is seen trying to climb the fence and then falling to the ground. He was shot in the torso and his death was declared shortly afterward in the field.

Relatives of Othman Rami Halas after hearing of his death, in July, 2018.
MAHMUD HAMS / AFP

An investigation prompted by then-chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot into Palestinian deaths during protests at the border did not include Halas. The military prosecutor Sharon Afek only decided that it also required investigation after suspicion arose that soldiers had fired their weapons not in accordance with the rules of engagement.