An IDF solder from Israel's Bedouin minority was indicted Sunday over the murder of a 20-year-old Bedouin man three months ago, in what police believe was a tragic case of mistaken identity.
The suspect, a resident of the Negev in southern Israel, murdered the young resident of Lakia on the night of Friday January 15, police say.
That night, police received reports of shots fired close to Kibbutz Beit Kama in the northern Negev, and shortly after received reports of a car accident at the same spot. When officers arrived, they found the driver dead at the wheel; he had been shot in the head.
The victim had been returning from a night out when he was murdered, and police began an immediate investigation.
One month later a Bedouin IDF soldier was arrested in connection to the murder. Under interrogation it was revealed that the killing had been carried out in revenge for a violent altercation which had occurred earlier on the day of the murder in the coastal city of Ashdod, in which a friend of the indicted suspect and an accomplice – who has yet to be caught – had been badly beaten.
The pair believed their victim had been involved in the attack, but after the event they realized they had killed the wrong person.
The soldier is believed to have used his army-issued weapon to carry out the murder.
A police statement described the crime as "an extremely severe incident in which the victim lost his life after a group of friends involved in a brawl in Ashdod sought to take revenge, and took the liberty to shoot a person, causing his death."
The police spokesman vowed to track down the remaining suspect "whose identity is known."