Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Israelis protest in support of the soldier who shot an Arab terrorist in Hebron

Sergeant A, 19, a medic who shot to death a stabbing terrorist who was lying on the ground in Hebron last Purim, was released by the military court judge, Col. Ronen Shor, to on-base confinement at the Kfir Brigade headquarters, while the prosecution is preparing an indictment for manslaughter against him. He was forbidden to come in contact with the witnesses against him and may not carry a weapon. The prosecution then requested that the judge delay the soldier’s release until Friday at noon to give them time to appeal his decision.

The two central witnesses in the prosecution’s case are the suspect’s battalion and company commanders. The battalion commander is Lt. Col. David Shapira who shot the terrorist who carried out an attack on Merkaz Harav in Hebron in 2008.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday spoke with the soldier’s father, who had been complaining that his son deserved to be treated like a hero, not a criminal, and told him, “I heard what you said, and as the father of a soldier myself I understand your distress. Our soldiers have been standing over the past few months with courage and determination against terror attacks and against murderers who want to kill them. They are expected to make decisions in real time, on the ground, under stress and uncertainty. It’s not a simple reality and I’m sure the investigation considers the entire array of circumstances. I am convinced the investigation will be professional and fair to your son.”

The Army was less than happy about the fact that Netanyahu decided to meet with the father. But the prime minister, sensing where the public winds are blowing — as the vast majority of Israeli Jews and probably all of his own rightwing voters have been vocal in support of the soldier — has been moving away from his own defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, and openly expressing support for the accused soldier, referring to him as someone who “erred.”

In the end, the judge’s decision hinged on whether or not the soldier can be expected to sabotage the investigation against him, which is usually the reason for a remand in cases where the suspect is not a flight risk. The defense attorney questioned the military police investigator whether he believed his client would sabotage the investigation, and the officer answered that “the suspect is not completely cooperative. He is not necessarily trying to sabotage, but he could sabotage.”

Eventually, the officer conceded that “when he is not sure about something he says, I don’t recall.”

The judge shortly thereafter decided to release the soldier to his base. But he stays in jail Thursday night, while the busy bees at the military prosecution work out a reason why he belongs behind bars before the trial. They’re all due in court again Friday at noon.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.

28 COMMENTS

  1. The Jews of the world are watching. Bibi was afraid that the world was going to come down on him. The young soldier acted in the best interests of saving his fellow soldiers. A wounded terrorist is NOT a dead terrorist and is still a major threat. You do not take chances with another person's life. You move to protect it. Hindsight is 20/20, and in this case, the terrorist intended to die. It is a shame this young man self-stigmatizes himself. He has the support of world Jewry, if not his commanders. and, the rest of the world can be damned if they don't like it.

  2. BiBi YOU are a disgrace! First you hang our
    solider and now you had a bloody epiphany"
    OMG the Israeli people prefer live Jew's
    Rather then assume the terrorist who already
    knifed soldiers is harmless!
    lets not forgot that brilliant law that
    A wounded terrorist receive first aid if his
    Injuries are more sever then his victims!!!!!
    Hey PM, if a wounded Jew dies because a
    terrorist was treated first(is this some Orwellian
    Nightmare!) what speech will u deliver?
    What #### planet are you living in!!!!
    You have used up your credibility.

  3. I am glad the soldier has been released and should not have been arrested in the first place. Afterall at the time of the incident there was a danger the downed terrorist was wearing an explosive belt covered by the clothing he was wearing which the usual mo of terrorists.

  4. Normally I support Prime Minister Netanyahu. However, the Prime Minister was way out of bounds when he spoke about the case originally. He should have just stated that he has confidence in the IDF investigative procedures and that he would wait until the investigation is complete before making any comments.

    As a soldier I question the competence and motivation of the two chief witnesses against the soldier. They have too much invested in their reputation and actions to be impartial. Further, I would question them on their training in handling the terrorist who is wearing a heavy jacket and where it remained closed while he was on the ground. Do they have the training to examine him? What did they do to assure that he was not a threat?

  5. I definitely question the two witnesses against, people today are far more clued as to how the law works and understand how to get their mostly paid statements registered. Lt. Col Shapiro thank you for making the world a better place.

    There is to much time spent on protecting the terrorists rights these days. Respect the military people who every day lay their lives on the line. Mr. President, I am sorry to say, perhaps you should have more faith in your IDF personnel.

  6. The idea of punishing a soldier who shoots a low life terrorist is simply cowadice. Are you commanders out of your MINDS??
    Satan must be dancing with this stupidity.
    The enemy should feel fear of wrongdoing, NOT the protectors in uniform.
    I salute you young man.

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