Mahmoud Badran, the Palestinian killed by the IDF.
(photo credit: PALESTINIAN SOCIAL MEDIA)
There will be no indictment against a group of IDF soldiers who had fired on the wrong car, killing a Palestinian minor and injuring several other Palestinians, all of whom were innocent bystanders to an incident in which other Palestinians attacked Israeli cars on Route 443 in June 2016, the IDF announced late Monday.
At the same time, the IDF commander who ordered the soldiers to fire on the wrong car was blocked from receiving a promotion and was prematurely discharged from the army.
In the incident, a different group of Palestinians had injured three Israeli motorists with rocks, large blocks and by pouring oil on the road.
According to the IDF statement, the soldiers who engaged the vehicle of innocent Palestinians, including 15-year-old Muhammad Rafat Badran who was killed, had indications that it was the car that had caused the Israeli injuries and that it might be on its way to endanger more Israelis.
Moreover, the statement said the IDF soldiers were aiming for the car’s wheels in order to stop it – not to kill its occupants – but they had misfired.
Further, the statement said that it was late at night and the operational circumstances were complex, therefore, opening fire on the car’s wheels was justified.
At the time of the incident, there was significant doubt about the IDF soldiers’ initial testimony that they had not aimed to kill in light of the large number of bullets that had been fired having missed the wheels.
However, The Jerusalem Post has learned that the short amount of time, the tired state of some of the forces and the operational circumstances meant that the firing, while mistaken, was still within what the IDF military advocate-general considered reasonable enough to avoid criminal charges.