Soldier in West Bank shooting to face charges of manslaughter, not murder

The Israeli soldier who shot a Palestinian attacker last Thursday in Hebron arriving to a hearing at a military court near Kiryat Malachi, Israel, March 29, 2016. (Pool/Flash90)

The Israeli soldier who shot a Palestinian attacker last Thursday in Hebron arriving to a hearing at a military court near Kiryat Malachi, Israel, March 29, 2016. (Pool/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The soldier caught on video shooting a supine Palestinian terrorist in the head will face charges of manslaughter, not murder, a military court decided.

The military tribunal met on Thursday and made the determination, according to reports.

The decision comes two days after the prosecutor told the tribunal it was working to determine the exact charges, and asked that the soldier continue to be held in military prison.

The soldier has still only been identified by his initials, as his identity remains under a gag order. He was held on murder charges on March 25 for shooting a Palestinian wounded after stabbing an Israeli soldier in Hebron.

The prosecutor said the soldier shot the Palestinian stabber in the head though he was down on the ground and no longer a threat.

The soldier arrived at the scene several minutes after the terror attack and acted independently, the Israel Defense Forces found in an initial investigation. The soldier’s attorney has said that he was concerned that the assailant was wearing a bomb and was planning to blow it up.

The military says the downed terrorist had been checked for explosives, though the Magen David Adom emergency medical service disputes this.

Military investigators say the soldier is cooperating and replies to their questions, but has refused to take a lie detector test, Haaretz reported.

Meanwhile, the left-wing human rights group B’Tselem said that its Hebron volunteer that caught the soldier shooting the downed Palestinian stabber on camera has been called in for questioning by police, the Times of Israel reported.

Right-wing activists filed a civil complaint against the volunteer, identified as Emad abu-Shamsiyah.

The complaint alleges that he conspired with the two Palestinian stabbers in last week’s incident in Hebron.

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