Israeli military prosecutors have reduced the charge against a soldier who shot dead an unarmed and severely wounded Palestinian man from murder to manslaughter.
Caught on video, a Palestinian man could be seen bleeding and lying flat on his back when the defendant walked up to him, cocked his weapon and fired point blank at the man’s head.
The victim, Abel al-Fatah-al-Sharif, had already been shot and incapacitated during a stabbing attack on an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldier in Hebron in the West Bank.
The defendant has claimed he was acting in self-defence believing 21-year-old Sharif to have been wearing a suicide belt, The Guardian reports.
At an IDF court hearing, Lieutenant Colonel Edoram Rigler said the prosecution believed they could secure a conviction on the reduced charge of manslaughter.
Other soldiers present at the scene told the hearing the defendant had said before shooting Sharif: “The terrorist was alive and he deserved to die.”
The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, reviewed the Hebron footage and stated: “The images shown carry all the signs of a clear case of an extrajudicial execution.”
In response to such attacks, 11 US senators have signed a letter calling on President Barack Obama to investigate alleged Israeli human rights abuses to decide whether military aid to Israel should be cut.
sraeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has attacked US critics saying: “Where is the concern for the infringement of the human rights of so many Israelis who were murdered and wounded by criminal murderers?”
According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu added the senator’s letter “should have been directed at those who incite children to cruel acts of terrorism”.
Source The Independant