Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu joined the series of figures condemning an IDF soldier, who was filmed by a camerawoman of the radical leftist NGO B'Tselem shooting an Arab terrorist who had been neutralized in Hevron on Wednesday.
The terrorist was one of two who stabbed and moderately wounded a soldier at the site before being shot and killed. In the footage, one of the terrorists is seen lying on the ground and moving slightly. After a few minutes the soldier cocks his weapon and shoots him in the head.
The soldier has been arrested and an investigation launched against him, but his family argues that he feared the terrorist had a suicide belt concealed under his coat, which he wore despite it being a warm day.
Netanyahu on Wednesday night added his criticism of the soldier, saying, "what happened in Hevron does not represent the values of the IDF. The IDF expects its soldiers to act with self-control and in accordance with the open-fire regulations."
Meanwhile the soldier's lawyer Binyamin Malka spoke to Arutz Sheva, and said his client is certain that he acted correctly, noting that he was known to be an outstanding soldier in his military service.
Malka says he spoke to the soldier's family, adding, "we are certain his innocence will be proven. He did the right thing, in the right time and at the right place. This is an outstanding combat soldier who graduated a course for combat medics, whose entire existence comes from a place of loving the land."
Explaining his decision to represent the soldier, the attorney said, "I said in the past, and say now, and it will be my guide in the future: I am captain (res.) Binyamin Malka, I will not abandon soldiers in the field. I will always stand besides those who defend this land - (they are) the pillar of fire that stands before the camp and protects my family."
Also backing the soldier was MK Avigdor Liberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beytenu party, who was one of only three MKs in the nationalist camp to come out in the soldier's defense - the other two were MKs Oren Hazan (Likud) and Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home).
It may be that the soldier was right or that he was wrong in his decision to shoot the terrorist, said Liberman, emphasizing, "that will be checked by the appropriate sources in the IDF."
"But what is already clear now is that this onslaught against the soldier is hypocritical and unjustified, and it is better to have a soldier who makes a mistake and stays alive than a soldier who hesitates and the terrorist kills him," said the MK.
Addressing the head of the Arab Joint List party, Liberman added, "as for Ayman Odeh who accused Israel of conducting executions, I propose that he move to live in Syria or join Hezbollah where he will be able to enjoy the Arab democracy he deserves."
Smotrich for his part condemned Netanyahu's immediate criticism of the soldier, writing on Twitter, "it's too bad that Netanyahu is closing ranks with the leftist politically correct. Morally speaking, a terrorist who tried to murder Jews is a dead man."
"Enough, stop already," Hazan responded. "Let the mother of a terrorist cry and not a Jewish mother. A combat soldier, a heroic medic, neutralized a murderer and said 'there was concern that he would blow up with an explosive.' I believe him. Period."
Bentzi Gopshtain, director of the Lehava anti-assimilation group, wrote on Facebook that the soldier should get an honorary citation for shooting the terrorist, adding, "better a soldier in jail and a dead terrorist than a dead soldier and a terrorist in jail."