After an onslaught of condemnation from across the political spectrum against the soldier who killed a wounded terrorist, a witness present at the scene of Thursday’s stabbing attack in Hevron has corroborated a key element of his defense.
The soldier, who is now under investigation, claims that he feared the terrorist was carrying a suicide bomb vest, noting that the terrorist was wearing a thick coat despite the heat, possibly to conceal an explosive device.
An activist from the left-wing NGO B’Tselem recorded part of the incident and publicized a video clip showing the soldier shooting the terrorist in the head.
A civilian paramedic, who responded to the stabbing attack on Thursday in which two Arabs wounded a soldier, has stated that those present at the scene feared that one of the neutralized terrorists was armed with a suicide bomb vest, and was attempting to activate it when the soldier opened fire.
The witness recalled the moments immediately after the attack.
“I was at home when all of the sudden I got an [emergency] call on the radio,” the paramedic told NRG.
“I ran down [to the scene] and saw a civilian holding his hand to a soldier’s shoulder in an attempt to stop the bleeding. There were two terrorists lying down nearby; one next to the soldier and one about 15 yards away.”
“As we started to treat him [the soldier] someone started shouting ‘Look out, look out! He’s trying to blow himself up. Get the bomb squad.’”
“That’s what people were yelling there; I heard it with my own ears. If the video had recorded the sounds at the scene,” the witness said, referring to the video recording released by B’Tselem, “you’d be able to hear it as well.”
Binyamin Malka, the attorney representing the soldier under investigation, noted that his client had an outstanding record as a combat soldier.
“Unfortunately,” said Malka, “the soldier is getting tried by the public before getting the right to defend himself, and all because of a video distributed by some left-wing activists.”
Malka noted that the video did not include a recording of the sound from the incident.
A second video released on Friday corroborates the central claims of the soldier's argument. Taken on site with audio, at least one person at the location can be clearly heard warning others to steer clear of the wounded terrorist, due to a possible suicide bomb vest.
While a team of paramedics transported the wounded soldier to an ambulance, they noticed that the wounded terrorist was alive and moving.
"The terrorist is still alive!", one man shouted. "Don't let him attack us!"
A second individual, presumably a soldier, responded, warning others to take note that the terrorist was alive and appeared to be armed with an explosive device.
"He looks like he has an explosive pack, watch out. Until the bomb squad comes, don't touch him," he told paramedics.