Political storm gathers strength after IDF soldier filmed shooting subdued terrorist

Joint List MK Ahmed Tibi has accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of "personal responsibility for the murder."

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN, JPOST.COM STAFF
March 24, 2016 17:32
4 minute read.

IDF soldier shoots dead subdued Palestinian terrorist in Hebron, part of Elor Azaria case

IDF soldier shoots dead subdued Palestinian terrorist in Hebron, part of Elor Azaria case

 
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As the political storm gathers pace over a B’Tselem video showing a soldier shooting a subdued terrorist in the head, Joint List MK Ahmed Tibi accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of "personal responsibility for the murder." 

Speaking from Romania, Tibi said Netanyahu "should apologize to the Swedish minister (referring to Margret Wallstrom)."
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom enraged the prime minister in December when she claimed Israel was carrying out extrajudicial killings in reaction to Palestinian terror attacks.

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Tibi added: "IDF soldiers and Israeli police shoot and execute Palestinians in cold blood, as a result of the incitement of Israeli ministers and politicians. Those politicians are no less responsible for the shooting today than the soldier who fired the bullets."

The soldier who opened fire on the subdued Palestinian attacker has been arrested by the Military Police's criminal investigations department, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Moti Almoz said on Thursday afternoon.

Almoz strongly condemned the shooting, saying that "this is not the culture of the IDF, and not the culture of the Jewish people. and not connected to military framework in anyway." Everyone who was present on the scene will be investigated, Almoz added.

Further condemnation of the soldier's actions resonated from both the center and the left of the political spectrum, with Yesh Atid faction chairman MK Ofer Shelach saying "the murderous cruelty of the terrorists is not a reason for the IDF to abandon its values." "The quick action of the army was praiseworthy, including the probe that found the soldier's actions were against the values of the IDF," he said.

Shelach, who lost an eye fighting in Lebanon in 1983, continued by saying that ethics were a "source of strength for the army, and conceding this by even a small amount because of difficulties in facing up to terrorism will harm our national security."



Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh claimed that "Israel over the last several months has become a place where public executions take place to the cheers of crowds." "The State of Israel is trying to keep its reputation as a country which abides by the rule of law, but the truth is its ministers repeatedly call on the public to execute anyone suspicious," Odeh said.

Warning of the consequences of incidents such as today's, he said "the price of the deterioration in ethics is paid by both Israelis and Palestinians." Odeh called upon those who have killed suspects to be indicted "along with those who sent them from Balfour 10 (the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem)."

Joint List MK Dov Henin from the Hadash party said "the pictures from Hebron should shock everyone with a conscience. The people who are responsible first and foremost are our leaders who have directly and indirectly expressed support for the killing of innocents, even if they are no longer posing a threat."

"It is important to understand we will continue to fall to lower depths if we do not change course immediately," he said.

Meretz MK Esawi Frej also commented on the incident, saying "the video of the soldier has proved that an IDF uniform does not guarantee human compassion." Frej called the soldier a "murderer who fired in cold blood at the head of the helpless wounded man." He added that if the soldier did not face a murder trial it would be undemocratic and improper.

His Meretz colleague, Tamar Zandberg, praised the organization Betzelem for distributing the video. "Without Betzelem and Breaking the Silence we would have never known or seen," Zandberg wrote on Twitter.

On the right, Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev said it was too soon to judge the incident, because there have been recent incidents where wounded terrorists that were thought to have been neutralized attacked soldiers.

"The goal of the terrorist is to die, and I would prefer a dead terrorist to a dead soldier," he told Army Radio.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also condemned the shooting, saying that "we must not allow, even at a time that our blood boils, this loss of control. This incident will be dealt with the utmost severity."

Israel has no intention of compromising in its war on terrorism, Ya'alon said, adding that we "act with a steel hand against terrorists and those who send them, as soldiers on the ground did in real time today, neutralizing the terrorists in Hebron. Even then, we must not act in violation of our values and conscious."

"Even when we must strike our enemies and defeat them in war or any battle with them, our moral obligation is... to safeguard our humanity. We must remember the limitations of power after the enemy has been struck, and avoid immoral behavior. We must remember that our power does not only stem from our military capability, but first of all, from our moral strength. This is our duty, to win, and to remain human."

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