Soldier to be released to open base

Military court orders release of soldier who shot neutralized terrorist in Hevron. He will remain jailed in an open base near Nahshonim.

Uzi Baruch ,

Soldier who shot wounded terrorist
Soldier who shot wounded terrorist
Corinna Kern/Flash 90

The soldier who shot a neutralized terrorist in Hevron will be released to serve his jail sentence at the Idan division headquarters, near Kibbutz Nahshonim.

In making its decision, the military court turned down the prosecutor's request from Thursday evening to keep the soldier where he is.

The Chief Military Prosecutor, Colonel Sharon Pinhas Zagagi, told the court that releasing the soldier could disrupt the still-ongoing investigation. "We cannot accept the claim that he acted out of a threat to his life or for an operational need, but rather it is clear that the shot he fired into the terrorist was intentional," he explained.

Last night, the judge ruled that the soldier should be released to an open jail sentence in the Kfir Brigade's base until April 7. In his decision, the judge acknowledged the evidence that has been submitted but hinted that the prosecutor may have used an overly strict interpretation of the charge, even after it was reduced from murder to manslaughter.

"Yes, the various videos of the incident show a series of actions taken by the suspect to fire the shot," he wrote. "We cannot learn from the evidence that the threat of a bomb on the terrorist's body was ruled out at the time. At the same time, others who were at the scene felt it right to deal with the potential danger from the terrorist in a different manner.

"The suspect was not considered the authority at the scene and there is no question that he acted on his own accord. Thus there is a reasonable suspicion that he exceeded his authority and carried out the shooting illegally.

"There is evidence on both sides as to the question of what motivated him to fire. After reviewing the updated material from the investigation, my opinion remains the same. As such, we cannot necessarily consider the suspect's action to be as serious as the prosecutor claims."