While the Israeli military initially reported an incident of two Palestinian “terrorists” killed in occupied Hebron, a subsequent video release showed that one of the two was alive after the incident, and was summarily executed by an Israeli medic, who shot the disarmed and wounded Palestinian in the head.
The Israeli military has since said they have detained the medic, calling the incident a grave breach of the rules of engagement. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned the attack, saying such killings don’t represent the military’s values.
The medic defended the killing in comments made hours later, saying he had done nothing wrong and figured the Palestinian, initially accused of having a knife, might have a suicide vest on. His lawyer warned the public not to criticize the killing, saying they should “not forget who was defending them.”
The Israeli military has been having a problem with soldiers using excessive force against Palestinians, with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot insisting last month that the military shouldn’t be killing every perceived attacker they see.
This sparked a condemnation of the general earlier this month by Israeli Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, who called on Israeli troops to ignore their orders and just kill any armed Palestinian they can, saying they have a religious responsibility to do so.
Arab groups have complained repeatedly about excessive use of force by Israeli troops since then, but this is the first time such an incident was actually caught on video, and that is drawing some serious international attention to the problem.