Right-wing activist and attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir has filed a complaint with police against leftist group B’Tselem, which on Friday released footage purporting to show an IDF soldier shooting a terrorist who was on the ground after he was neutralized in a stabbing incident Thursday in Chevron. In this complaint, Ben-Gvir said that it was “curious” that a B’Tselem activist just “happened” to be on site when the incident occurred.
In the video, a soldier is seen cocking his weapon and aiming it in the direction of one of the terrorists. Although the soldier is not seen in the footage because of a passing truck at the moment of the shooting, the terrorist is seen hit with a bullet, and blood flowing from his head. In the wake of the video and the uproar it raised in the Israeli media, the IDF arrested the soldier and is holding him while an investigation takes place. On Friday, the army said that the soldier would be charged with murder.
Ben-Gvir said that the presence of the cameraman Imad Abu Shamasia at the time that the stabbing incident occurred was curious, at the very least. “This is not the first time that B’Tselem cameramen have ‘happened’ to be in the right place at the right time to record the aftermath of terror attacks,” said Ben-Gvir.
“Under these circumstances it would be proper to open an investigation into this matter,” Ben-Gvir wrote. “Due to the fact that B’Tselem has been involved with numerous episodes of this type, it would be proper to conduct an investigation into this matter.”
Speaking on Army Radio Sunday morning, Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon for their statements on the matter. Over the weekend, both justified the arrest of the soldier, saying that the IDF was a “moral army” that did “not execute people,” although Netanyahu backtracked somewhat later, saying that he “stands behind” the IDF.
“Both Netanyahu and Yaalon have turned into public relations people for B’Tselem,” said Liberman. “This is becoming all too common, and the current case is the fourth where this duo has put a soldier on trial. It is possible that an 18-year-old soldier makes a mistake, but that does not justify the intensive campaign against him, especially on the part of the prime minister and defense minister. Now the family is supposed to believe that their son will get a fair trial, after everyone clearly heard what the heads of the country think about this incident?”
Liberman added that he had filed a request to visit the soldier, who is being held in a military jail in central Israel, but IDF officials refused his request.