Israel violence: Hundreds march in support of IDF soldier suspected of shooting injured Palestinian

The judge said he found reasonable suspicion of an illegal shooting but noted the incident was 'complicated'

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 29 March 2016 19:35
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Israeli right-wing protesters demonstrate outside a military court during a hearing of an Israeli soldier who the military said has been arrested on suspicion of murder, near the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Malachi, 29 March, 2016
Israeli right-wing protesters demonstrate outside a military court during a hearing of an Israeli soldier who the military said has been arrested on suspicion of murder, near the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Malachi, 29 March, 2016

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a military court in support of an Israeli soldier alleged to have shot and killed a wounded Palestinian man.

Graphic footage emerged on Friday purportedly showing the Israeli soldier killing the Palestinian man as he lay injured on the ground after a stabbing attack.

Amateur footage shows the man, named as Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, lying on the street as one of the soldiers near him appears to raise his gun and shoot him in the head. Blood is then seen pouring from the wound.

Palestinian man shot by Israeli soldier as he lies on the ground

Mr al-Sharif and another Palestinian man, Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, were shot after allegedly stabbing a soldier in Tel Rumeida, in the Hebron area of the occupied West Bank.

Both men died at the scene. The stabbed soldier was treated for minor injuries.

In his ruling at the military court in Kastina, the judge said he found reasonable suspicion of an illegal shooting, but noted the incident was "complicated".

Israeli right-wing protesters demonstrate outside a military court during a hearing of an Israeli soldier who the military said has been arrested on suspicion of murder, near the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Malachi, 29 March, 2016

The unnamed soldier, an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) medic, reportedly told military police he shot al-Sharif because he feared for his life.

Haaretz reports the medic told interrogators: “I fired the shot when the terrorist was alive. I did it because I felt my life was in danger.”

The trial continues, pending an autopsy of Mr al-Sharif's body.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the IDF, saying at a cabinet meeting on Sunday: "Any challenge to the morality of the IDF is outrageous and unacceptable.

"The soldiers of the IDF, our children, maintain high ethical values while courageously fighting against bloodthirsty murderers under difficult operational conditions.

"I am certain that in all cases, as in the current one, the inquiry takes into account all conditions. We must all support the IDF chief of staff, the IDF and our soldiers, who safeguard our security."

Clashes between residents and security forces are regularly seen in Hebron, which is divided between Israeli-controlled and Palestinian-controlled areas.

The shooting comes amid a six-month cycle of stabbings and shootings, which has left 200 Palestinians and 28 Israelis dead.

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