Soldier Indicted for Shooting Palestinian

Border Police soldier indicted for shooting Palestinian boy with live bullet, when he had and was instructed to use rubber bullets.

Cynthia Blank ,

Illustration: Israeli border police stand ove
Illustration: Israeli border police stand ove
Flash 90

The prosecutor of Jerusalem's District Court filed an indictment against a Border Patrol soldier for killing a Palestinian youth who participated in the violent riots against IDF and Border Patrol forces in the village of Beitunia, 3 kilometers west of Ramallah. 

Evidence based on a Palestinian Authority autopsy suggested, contrary to the soldier's version of events that he fired rubber bullets in accordance with IDF policy, the soldiers deliberately fired live ammunition into the center of the Palestinian boy's body, intending to cause severe harm, even the possibility of death. 

The indictment describes that on May 15, as part of preparations for "Nakba Day" - the Arabic word for catastrophe designating the creation of the Jewish state of Israel 66 years ago - the company was stationed near the village of Beitunia. 

At around 11:00 a.m. the accused soldier, along with six other soldiers, and an army documentarist, were placed in a dominant viewing point of the central junction in Beitunia, with the goal of preventing protestors from approaching the checkpoint. 

The defendant was armed with rubber bullets as well as live ammunition. 

He and another fighter were chosen to fire rubber bullets to disperse protesters as needed. At one point the rioters, including a 17-year-old boy, began to throw rocks at the security forces.

Around 1:45 p.m, when the deceased approached the area with his hands at his sides, the defendant aimed his weapon toward the boy's torso and shot him with a live bullet. 

"The defendant shot the deceased in the chest and he collapsed in place. The actions of the defendant unlawfully caused the death of the deceased," the indictment states.  

However, despite the indictment, many have argued that the soldier committed no wrongdoing, calling the arrest against him a "blood libel." 

Former MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari has been leading the push to support the soldiers, calling on officers and concerned citizens to donate to save the soldier's family from financial collapse - his legal defense costs a whopping 20,000 shekels (over $5,200).

Referencing the murder of a 20-year-old IDF soldier in Tel Aviv two weeks ago, Ben-Ari stated "if Almog Shiloni hy''d had preempted the murderer who stabbed him to death he too would be sitting in jail now and be investigated...for killing a terrorist!"