Israeli politicians from across the aisle condemned on Thursday an Israeli soldier who shot a subdued Palestinian attacker in the head in Hebron.
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In a video provided by a B'Tselem fieldworker the same day, the wounded Palestinian, who had earlier carried out a stabbing attack, is seen lying on the ground when the soldier shoots him in the head.
"What happened in Hebron does not represent the values of the Israel Defense Forces," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in reaction to the incident, adding that the IDF "expects its soldiers to act coolly and in accordance with the rules of engagement."
“Even when our blood is boiling, we must not allow such a loss of sense, such a loss of control,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) said in a press statement, adding that "terror must be fought uncompromisingly, he stressed, “but even so, woe to us if we act contrary to our moral values and our conscience.”
Ya'alon continued that Israel has a “moral obligation” to “preserve its humanity,” “remember the limits of power” and “keep ourselves from immoral behavior.”
MK Ofer Shelah of Yesh Atid said, “The terrorists’ murderous despicableness isn’t a reason for the IDF to discard its values. We should laud the army’s swift action in opening an investigation and making clear that this act contradicts its values ... Morality is the source of the army’s strength, and abandoning even a little of it due to the difficulties caused by terror would undermine national security.”
Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon said the incident “should greatly concern the heads of the defense establishment and the government.” The soldier must stand trial, she said, “but in addition, it’s impossible to close our eyes to the public atmosphere created by elected officials in the coalition and the government, deliberately and irresponsibly, which is penetrating every segment of our society and corrupting it.” The government’s “unbridled incitement ... also reaches soldiers in the field and sends them an immoral and dangerous message,” she added.
Joint Arab List chairman Ayman Odeh said, “In recent months, Israel has become a place where public executions are carried out to the public applause ... Its ministers have repeatedly urged the public to execute every suspicious person. The price of the security and moral deterioration is being paid by both peoples, Israeli and Palestinian.”
Both he and Joint Arab List MK Ahmad Tibi demanded that inciting politicians, including Netanyahu, stand trial along with the soldier.
Earlier, IDF Spokesperson Moti Almoz told reporters that the soldier had been arrested and was being investigated by the Military Police. He added that Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot spoke personally with the head of Central Command about the incident and ordered a thorough investigation, “in order to understand what happened that a solder decided to open fire at a terrorist when he was lying down.”