'Palestinians also to blame in Hebron'

Court remands suspect in Hebron shooting, but raises serious doubts regarding B'Tselem footage.

hebron army settler guns cool 248 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi)
hebron army settler guns cool 248 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi)
Judge Malka Aviv of the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Sunday ordered a Kiryat Arba resident who shot two Palestinians last week remanded for four days, but released another Kiryat Arba man whom police also wanted to keep in jail. Aviv accepted the police allegation that Zeev Braude had deliberately provoked Palestinians by deviating from the path he was walking on toward the disputed Beit Hashalom structure on Worshipers Way and heading toward a Palestinian house. Videotape of Thursday's incident taken by Palestinians shows Braude hitting and pushing the Palestinian. Afterward, Braude was attacked by several more Palestinians and opened fire on them. According to Issa Amro, a 28-year-old eyewitness and the Hebron coordinator of B'Tselem's video camera distribution project "Shooting Back," two settlers began arguing with Palestinians about their right to the land and the Palestinians told them to leave. One of the Jews was armed, and he pointed his gun and started shooting at the Arabs, Amro said. Click below to watch the Betselem footage "There is no doubt the events in which the suspect was involved were extremely grave," Ynet quoted Aviv as saying. "They are grave not only in their own right, but also given the context, which included severe tension between the Jewish and Palestinian residents in the area of Hebron and Kiryat Arba." However, Aviv added that she had questions about the conduct of the allegedly wounded Palestinians who were later seen throwing stones at Jews. "It appears that the incident was initiated by the suspect, but the continuation and end of it cannot be ascribed to him alone. On the contrary, a large and determined contribution from the Palestinians through their conduct during the incident was responsible for its outcome," the judge wrote. The police representative, Daniel Toledano, said Braude had no reason to head toward the home of the Jaabari family. "It was a provocation without a doubt," he said. Toledano said Braude took out his handgun and accosted a Palestinian. Other members of the Palestinian's family told Braude to leave, but he refused. He then opened fire, hitting the first victim. The wounded man's father jumped Braude, and Braude shot him as well. "Braude intended to arouse an entire population against us," Toledano said. "This is a gross violation of the law." Attorney Ariel Atari, who represented Braude and the second suspect, Gabi Bibi, told Ynet that Braude acted in self-defense. "He went down through the wadi to reach his son as quickly as possible," Atari said. "When he saw Arabs approaching him holding rocks, he took out his handgun and told them to let him by. One of the Arabs came up to him and my client retreated. Another Arab holding a rock in his hand pushed him and he moved back again. Then three Arabs, also holding rocks, surrounded him and he fired above the shoulder of the one who stood in front of him and a second one. They charged him, knocked him down, jumped on him and stoned him. He was taken to hospital and required 36 stitches."