Israeli Soldier Who Shot Captured Palestinian Assailant Faces Murder Investigation

Soldier's lawyer says client admits to killing the already wounded assailant, but insists that he did so because he felt that his life was in danger.

The Israeli soldier who was caught on video shooting a captured Palestinian assailant in the head has been informed that he is being investigated for murder, Haaretz has learned.

Lt.-Col. Adoram Rigler of the military advocate's office, said the soldier – who has not been named – is 'suspected of committing a crime of a most serious nature.' At a hearing at a military court on Friday, the soldier's detention has been extended by five days.

The soldier being led to detention hearings at a military court in Jaffa on Friday.
Ofer Vaknin

The lawyer representing the soldier, who is a medic in the Shimshon Division, said that his client admits to killing the already wounded assailant, but insists that he did so because he felt that his life was in danger.

The solider also claimed that his actions were in accordance with the IDF's rules of engagement, despite widespread condemnation of his actions by Israeli officials.

In the video of the incident, provided by a B'Tselem fieldworker following a stabbing attack that left one soldier wounded in Hebron, the soldier is seen shooting the Palestinian assailant who was lying on the ground, wounded, and who did not pose a threat to security forces.

In a new video, published Friday, security forces can be seen evacuating the wounded soldier while the wounded assailant lies on the ground. A voice can be heard saying that the suspected terrorist is still alive and should not be approached: "He might be booby-trapped. Be careful not to touch him until the sappers arrive," one of those present is heard saying. Nonetheless, the comments do not seem to elicit any change in behavior by those present, who remain close to the wounded assailant.