New Bill Would Block Publication of Names of Soldiers Under Criminal Investigation

The legislation is introduced amid a military investigation into the killing of a subdued Palestinian attacker by an Israeli soldier in Hebron.

The soldier accused of shooting a neutralized attacker in Hebron appears in Military Court in Jaffa, March 27, 2016.
Ofer Vaknin

A Knesset panel backed a bill on Sunday that would prohibit publishing the names of any Israeli soldiers being investigated for crimes they are suspected of committing during operational duty.

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense backed the bill, sponsored by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Eyal Ben-Reuven (Zionist Union), which states that the name of a soldier who is the subject of an investigation will only be released for publication until a final court ruling is reached.

"I support a thorough investigation of operational events, but we also need to protect our troops when they are being investigated," Ben-Reuven said.

The bill was introduced amid a Military Police investigation into the shooting and killing of a Palestinian attacker by an Israeli soldier in Hebron. The soldier, whose name is under a gag order issued by the military court, was filmed firing a round into the head of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, who was lying on the ground after being wounded, and who apparently did not pose a threat to security forces. 

The bill will now be sent for a first reading in the Knesset plenum.