Chevron Shooter Officially Charged With Manslaughter

Israeli soldiers remove the body of a Palestinian man who stabbed a soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron on March 24, 2016. The Palestinian was shot at the scene after stabbing and lightly wounding an Israeli soldier. Photo by Wissam Hashlamon/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** טרור פיגוע דקירה פצוע קל מחבל מת גופה חיילים חברון
IDF soldiers tend to the body of a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed a soldier in Chevron on March 24. The Palestinian was shot dead at the scene. (Wissam Hashlamon/Flash90)

A military court on Monday indicted an IDF soldier for manslaughter and “behavior not befitting an IDF soldier,” following the recommendations of prosecutors. The soldier, known as Sergeant A., shot at a terrorist in Chevron on Purim morning when he was neutralized and on the ground, after having been shot when he tried to stab soldiers. If convicted of the charges, the soldier could be expected to serve time in prison.

Evidence on the culpability of the soldier has been mixed, with footage and testimony surfacing that either indicate that the soldier was justified in his claimed fears that the terrorist, who was still alive, could have set off a bomb he may have been carrying on his person, or that he was completely immobilized and “deserved to die,” as some witnesses have claimed that the soldier said. This is the first time in a decade that a soldier has been so charged, IDF officials said.

The soldier is not in jail, but is confined to base, despite appeals by prosecutors to keep him locked up. The IDF prosecutor had decided not to charge the soldier with murder, as he had originally planned, as he was apparently unable to prove those charges – thus the reduction of charges.

Reports last week said that the prosecutors would probably demand that the soldier serve several years in prison. According to the reports, the soldier’s attorneys are attempting to work out a plea deal to either reduce the charges even further, or to ensure that he will not be required to serve time at all.