A three-justice IDF military court found Wisam Ali Mahmad Raadi innocent of manslaughter charges in the infamous lynch-murder of two IDF soldiers 10 years ago.
Judge Menachem Lieberman, who headed the three-member panel, accepted Raadi's explanation that he had beaten the body of one of the victims only after he was already dead. So reports the Jerusalem weekly Kol HaZman.
Ten years ago, on October 12, 2000, the two reserve soldiers, First Cpl. Yosef Avrahami and First Sgt. Vadim Norzhich, made a wrong turn into Ramallah. Palestinian Authority police took them to the nearby police station, where they were cruelly lynched by a Palestinian mob. One of the murderers even took the phone of one of the victims and gleefully told his wife what was happening.
The lynching produced one of the famous photographs of the Oslo War, that of one of the killers – Azaz Salha, then 20 - joyfully waving his red, blood-filled hands out the police station window. Arrested by Israel in 2001, Salha was sentenced to life in prison.
The soldiers were beaten, stabbed, had their eyes gouged out, and were disemboweled. One of the soldier's bodies was set on fire; one was thrown out the window and stamped and beaten by the fired-up mob. The crazed Arab citizens then dragged the two mutilated corpses to the city center and held a victory celebration.
Close to 20 Arabs have been arrested and convicted for their role in the lynching a decade ago. Raadi, however, who was represented in court by radical left-wing Israeli lawyer Leah Zemel, got off easy. A policeman in Ramallah at the time who was arrested several years ago, he was found guilty only of "harming regional security."
"It is clear that the accused did not have intention to cause death," Judge Lieberman wrote in his ruling, "but on the other hand, it is also clear that he meant to beat and strike the soldier. This was therefore a purposeful act of striking the body in order to get out his frustration and anger. But I was not persuaded that he intended to harm a living person."