Palestinians hurl rocks at IDF soldiers during clashes in Ramallah.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Military Police is investigating a soldier from the Netzah Yehuda battalion - a part of the Kfir infantry brigade - on suspicion of wrongfully shooting dead a Palestinian man near Silwad, 12 km. northeast of Ramallah on Friday.
Army sources said the soldier is under suspicion of “causing death,” a legal charge less severe than manslaughter.
The sources denied other reports that claimed the soldier was suspected of manslaughter or had already been indicted.
“The investigation is at the beginning stages,” they said.
On Monday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman referred to the incident together with the high profile military trial of Kfir Brigade soldier, Elor Azaria, who is charged with illegally shooting dead an immobilized Palestinian attacker in Hebron. In his comments, Liberman said that soldiers battling terrorists cannot head out on their mission “with an accompanying lawyer.”
The IDF confirmed on Saturday that the man shot on the previous day – 38-year-old father of two, Iyad Hamed, from Silwad – was unarmed and was not a terrorist.
Details of the incident remain limited.
After Friday’s shooting, the IDF initially said that a unit on patrol spotted the man running toward a nearby guard point in a suspicious manner. The army added that the unit first used non-lethal means in an attempt to stop the man.
“The circumstances of the incident are being checked and the incident is under investigation,” it said.
Israel transferred Hamed’s body to Palestinian custody on Friday. According to a report by Wafa, the Palestinian news agency, Hamed was “mentally disabled.” The report said he was on his way to prayers at the time of the shooting.
Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.