Israeli Soldier Who Shot Dead Unarmed Palestinian Investigated for Involuntary Manslaughter

The army admitted that Iyad Hamed, who was killed in Silwad, did not pose a threat; the shooter was interrogated and released to his unit.

Israeli soldiers gather at the scene where a suspected Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli troops at the entrance to the West Bank village of Silwad on August 26, 2016.
Abbas Momani / AFP

An Israeli soldier who shot a Palestinian at an Israeli military outpost in the West Bank on Friday is being investigated for involuntary manslaughter.

He was initially suspected of manslaughter.

The soldier was interrogated under caution on Sunday, as someone who could face criminal charges. He was later released to his unit, the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda battalion.

Iyad Hamed, 38, was shot by the soldier outside a military post in Silwad, a Palestinian town located north of Ramallah. Soldiers present at the scene said Hamed was running toward the fortified guard post when he was shot. A preliminary investigation showed that Hamed did not pose a threat to the soldiers and the Israel Defense Forces admitted that he was unarmed at the time.

"The soldier performed his duty and acted in accordance with military orders in light of the Palestinian's suspicious behavior and the threat he posed," Capt. Lior Ayash from the military defense office, who represents the soldier, said.

Hamed's family told Haaretz they demand that the Israeli authorities make sure those responsible for his death are brought to justice, even though they said they were skeptical the military or political system would take any such initiative.

The family members said they plan to sue Israel after the military admitted he was unarmed.

A Military Police investigation was launched in accordance with its policy to probe any case of a death of a Palestinian in the West Bank who was not involved in fighting.