Soldier arrested for firing at Arab home

IDF arrests soldier caught on video allegedly using military-issue rifle to shoot at house in Hebron.

btselem soldier shoot hebron 248 88 (photo credit: B'Tselem)
btselem soldier shoot hebron 248 88
(photo credit: B'Tselem)
The IDF has arrested a soldier from Kiryat Arba who was caught on videotape allegedly using his military-issue automatic rifle to shoot at a Palestinian home in Hebron late last month. The incident was filmed by Issa Amro, a Palestinian resident of Hebron and employee of the B'Tselem human rights group. The remand of the soldier, identified as Cpl. Nahum Ben-Ya'acov from the Givati Brigade, was extended Monday night until Thursday by Military Judge Col. Nir Aviram. The IDF Prosecution plans to indict Ben-Ya'acov for the illegal use of his weapon. Amro said Tuesday that the incident occurred on November 29, just days before the four-story Beit Hashalom in Hebron was evacuated by the Border Police. At the time, settlers were clashing with Palestinians on a daily basis. In the video, Ben-Ya'acov is seen in civilian clothes carrying a Tavor rifle - the new automatic rifle supplied recently to soldiers in the Givati Brigade. Ben-Ya'acov is seen pointing his rifle at the home. Afterwards, Amro approaches him and a border policeman and points at Ben-Ya'acov saying "He shot, arrest him." Ben-Ya'acov walks towards Amro and says "Get out of here before I break your camera." The border policeman then says to Amro: "Get out of here before he puts a bullet in your head." Amro said Tuesday that Ben-Ya'acov fired twice at the Palestinian home in the midst of a settler rampage against Palestinians in Hebron. According to B'tselem, the shooting was apparently reported to police by someone else. Shortly afterward, the Hebron police contacted Amro and he submitted the recording of the incident as well as written testimony. Ben-Ya'acov's attorney, Chai Haber, said Tuesday that the soldier admitted to firing several bullets in the air, but out of concern for his own personal safety and in an attempt to disperse the riots. Haber said that the part of the video not released to the public shows how other security personnel fired shots in the air to disperse the crowd. "I think the decision to extend his remand is wrong since it tells soldiers to sit back and not act when they are on vacation," Haber said. "This is against the values that the country is supposed to instill in our security forces - which is to take action even when you are on leave."