Soldier May Be Charged After Shooting Arab Who Rushed Him

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli army soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)
Israeli soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

An IDF soldier who last Friday shot and killed a Palestinian Authority Arab who ran toward soldiers and refused orders to stop may be charged with manslaughter, army sources said. The soldier was questioned by the Border Guard’s internal affairs department for the death of I’ad Zakaria Hamid, a 38-year-old resident of the village of Sil’ad, near Ramallah. After the shooting took place near the Ofra checkpoint, officials who inspected the body did not discover any weapons on his person.

According to residents of the village, Hamid was a “special needs case,” and may not have understood orders to stop rushing at the officers. The incident occurred just two days after an Arab rushed soldiers just north of Ofra near Itamar, after soldiers chased a vehicle from which rocks had been thrown at them. The soldiers hit the vehicle, and one of the Arabs emerged and stabbed a soldier.

The soldier was released after questioning and sent back to his unit. In a statement, his attorney said that the soldier had opened fire “in accordance with instructions of the army, and in light of the [unusual] behavior and the danger constituted by the Arab. The soldier is experienced and decorated and he takes the matter very seriously.”

Meanwhile, Haaretz reported Monday that a Border Guard officer who allegedly mistreated an Arab at the Hizme checkpoint will be charged, military prosecutors said. The incident occurred several weeks ago, with the Yerushalayim Arab saying that he was “harassed and beaten” by the officer at the checkpoint, after the latter discovered that his wife was Jewish. The complaint against the officer was filed on behalf of the Arab by the leftist Yesh Din group. In a statement, police said that it was investigating the matter, but “the behavior as described is the exact opposite of what is expected of Israeli police officers.”