The majority of Israelis support an IDF soldier, accused of shooting and killing a severely wounded Palestinian assailant in Hebron last week. According to a poll by an Israeli TV station, only 5 percent of responders deem his actions lawless.
Some 57 percent of Israelis said there was no need to arrest the soldier or launch an investigation, revealed the poll, conducted for Israel’s Channel 2. Over 40 percent of those polled deemed the soldier’s actions ‘responsible’. Only 5 percent described the shooting as ‘murder’.
The soldier is currently held in custody while being investigated by the Israeli military police on suspicion of murder of 21-year-old Abed Fatah al-Sharif last Thursday.
The shooting of the young Palestinian, accused of stabbing another Israeli soldier minutes earlier, was caught on camera and emerged at B’Tselem human rights center’s YouTube account. It featured one of the soldiers reloading his weapon and firing a headshot at the motionless victim lying on the ground. Sarit Michaeli, a spokesperson for B’Tselem, called it an “execution,” while the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov labeled it “a gruesome, immoral and unjust act.”
“The video of al-Sharif’s killing by an Israeli soldier shows both an apparent cold-blooded murder and numerous witnesses, which should make for a strong legal case,” Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) Middle East director, Sarah Leah Whitson, pointed out.
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