Indictment of IDF Soldiers in Palestinian Killing

YERUSHALAYIM -

Two IDF soldiers are facing an indictment on charges of negligence in the killing of an unarmed Palestinian three years ago, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

Samir Awad, 16, was shot as he ran from the area of a security fence in Yehuda into Palestinian territory.

According to the indictment, the two soldiers violated the IDF’s rules of engagement, firing on Awad as he was running away into Palestinian territory with his back to them, having done nothing other than trying to cross illegally into Israel and presenting no danger. Awad, who had tried to infiltrate into Israel, had posed no physical threat to the soldiers at the time of the shooting.

The incident took place near Budrus, northwest of Beitar Illit, in January 2013.

However, the left-wing human-rights group B’Tselem, which announced the indictment Thursday and had led the effort to get prosecutors to revisit the case, criticized the indictment for being too lenient, insisting that the soldiers should have been charged instead with manslaughter or murder.

The decision not to seek conviction on more serious charges was apparently due, at least in part, to the inability of determining which soldier caused Awad’s death or the exact cause of death, having been unable to examine Awad’s body.