Last week’s Hebron incident, in which an Israeli soldier was caught on video shooting and killing an already wounded and disarmed Palestinian, is the latest in a growing number of points of division within Israel’s cabinet, separating the far-right from the even farther-right.
Jewish Home Party leader Naftali Bennett clashed with Netanyahu over the incident, warning against the soldier being charged for murder, as he is increasingly portrayed as a hero among far-right settler groups. Polls indicate some 46% of Israelis support the killing, and 57% oppose investigating the soldier.
The shooter’s lawyer claims he was reacting to fears the Palestinian might’ve had a bomb, though military officials say the Palestinian had already been searched. They further say the shooter told multiple troops before the killing that the wounded Palestinian “deserves to die,” and a video immediately following the incident shows him shaking hands with a far-right activist.
With Israel’s Chief Rabbi just two weeks ago urging soldiers to ignore military orders and just kill all armed Palestinians they find, there is a palpable sense that summary executions were expected, and that few expected any repercussions from them.
Indeed, on the far-right the reaction is outrage at the military for “betraying” the soldier, and against the NGO that filmed the execution, with the Palestinian who filmed the incident receiving multiple death threats, and settler groups urging him to be charged with a crime for publicizing the killing.
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