Soldier involved in shooting of Palestinian discharged

66-year-old Omar Qawasmeh was shot and killed by IDF soldiers during raid on home of his nephew in West Bank.

January 20, 2011 01:53
1 minute read.
Hamas prisoner released by PA, later rearrested

Hamas prisoner released from PA jail, rearrested 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

The IDF on Wednesday announced that it had discharged a soldier who was involved in a West Bank raid on a Hamas cell, during which an elderly Palestinian civilian was killed.

The 66-year-old, Omar Qawasmeh, was shot and killed by IDF soldiers during the raid on the home of his nephew, Bitar.

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Qawasmeh’s wife said that the soldiers opened fire at him while he was sleeping in his bed.

The decision to discharge the soldier came after conclusions from an IDF inquiary said that one of the soldiers during the raid fired on Qawasmeh "following suspicious movements that caused the soldier to feel that as if his life was in danger."

According to the IDF, the soldier fired "in accordance with IDF rules of engagement," however a second soldier began firing at Qawasmeh and he acted "unprofessionally."

The IDF said they "deeply regret the death of Amr Qawasme," a statement read.

The incident in Hebron triggered a new crisis between the PA and Hamas, whose representatives accused the Palestinian security forces of “collusion” with Israel and called for ending security coordination between the Palestinians and Israel in the West Bank.

The PA accused Hamas of exploiting the incident to incite against its leaders and security forces. The PA also said that Hamas bears full responsibility for the safety of the six men.

The PA also criticized Israel for arresting the six Hamas activists and killing the elderly man.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report

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