IDF Officers Reprimanded for Not Aiding Hurt Palestinian Before He Was Shot Point Blank

Initial investigation finds that soldier who killed Palestinian acted on his own initiative and officers did not provide medical assistance to wounded man before shooting.

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A screenshot from the video showing IDF soldiers and the subdued Palestinian attacker.
A screenshot from the video showing IDF soldiers and the subdued Palestinian attacker.Credit: B'Tselem
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Three Israel Defense Forces officers were reprimanded on Friday for not providing medical assistance to a Palestinian assailant who had been wounded while attempting to stab an IDF soldier in Hebron.

The wounded Palestinian was subsequently shot dead by an IDF soldier, who is now under arrest and facing possible murder charges.

An initial investigation of the incident ordered by OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Nouma found that the soldier, from the Shimshon Batallion, had acted on his own initiative and had not been ordered to fire on the Palestinian.

The officers reprimanded by the commander of the Kfir Brigade Colonel Guy Hazut were a company commander with the rank of major and two platoon leaders.

According to the investigation, the soldier who killed the Palestinian was not part of the force involved in the stabbing attack. He arrived on the scene after the stabbing as part of a force accompanying the company commander.

The soldier's detention was extended by five days on Friday.

The officers were reprimanded for failing to carry out military regulations, according to which medical treatment must be given when an assailant no longer constitutes a threat.  

A senior IDF officer said that the three officers were reprimanded for not treating a wounded person in a serious condition. "The norm is that, from the moment that the situation is under control, all wounded, even if they're Palestinians, must be treated."

Officers who had been present during the incident told the investigation that they had been surprised by the shooting. It also became clear during the investigation that voices heard saying on the video of the incident that there might be an explosive device did not come from IDF soldiers.

The command-level investigation has no bearing on the military police investigation of the incident and the reprimanded officers can still be called to testify on their roles in the incident.

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot has been kept abreast of Nouma's investigation. Eisenkot said on Friday that the IDF was waging a determined and professional struggle against terror and the results were evident.

"The IDF will give full support to commanders and soldiers for their mistakes, but not for behavior that is unacceptable and at variance with the army's values," Eisenkot said.

"We must have a professional, practical and clean investigation. Impassioned debate does not contribute to a professional, determined and ethical army."

The senior officer also referred to the posters that appeared throughout the country on Friday, calling on Eisenkot to resign. "Even Ahasuerus [the Persian king in the Purim story] allowed the Jews to defend themselves," the posters read.

The officer said that the IDF would insist that it be the one to instruct soldiers on open-fire policies. "Those who guide IDF soldiers and are responsible for ethical standards are the commanders of the IDF," he said. "That's not something that is negotiable."

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