IDF soldier who shot a neutralized Palestinian terrorist in Hebron being led into court, March 29, 2016.
(photo credit: NOAM AMIR)
A transcript of the interrogation of the IDF soldier who shot and killed a Palestinian terrorist on March 24 after he was already wounded and lying motionless on the ground was leaked and aired by Channel 2 late Monday night. It showed many statements by the soldier contradicting the prosecution’s narrative of the incident.
In the transcript, the soldier tells his interrogators that shortly before he killed the Palestinian, “at that moment, someone, maybe one of the civilians, yelled ‘careful, he has a bomb on him,’ meaning an explosive vest. And I saw him with a big black coat, I think it was closed. I started to think about images of Hamas cells that said to us that it was intended to do a substantial attack, maybe a suicide [bombing].”
Later, the soldier says that if the Palestinian had worn an explosive vest and blown up killing nearby soldiers, investigators would have asked why no one shot him.
Also, he disputes the idea that he killed the Palestinian out of vengeance for his having stabbed a fellow soldier.
Rather, he admits that he may have told two other soldiers that the Palestinian “deserves to die,” but he just meant that he deserved to die because he was a terrorist, not that he was going to kill him.
He even argued that if revenge were his motive, he would have not only shot the one Palestinian terrorist, but also the second terrorist.
In one series, the soldier tells the interrogators, “They turned me into a scapegoat.. if I had known what they would do to me, I never would have been drafted” into the army, according to the report.
By Thursday, the IDF prosecution is expected to have filed an indictment against the soldier, likely for manslaughter, but with a chance of this being reduced to negligent homicide.
The incident was picked up on video, went viral online and has dominated the airwaves with a war of words over the soldier’s guilt or innocence pitting Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, who condemned the soldier, against various politicians on the Right, who say they rushed to judgment.