An expert on body language, Dr. Amir Helmer, has published an examination into the video of an IDF soldier shooting a neutralized terrorist in Hevron.
By analyzing it second by second, he found that the soldier's explanation is accurate and that the terrorist did pose an immediate threat during the seconds before the soldier fired.
During an interview with Arutz Sheva, Dr. Helmer spoke about the clip and what led him to his conclusions. "It interested me to examine the video because the soldier said that he saw the terrorist move. I was interested to know if that was correct. The politicians said that it was wrong and that he acted excessively. I took the clip and I saw that, before he arrived, people were yelling not to touch the terrorist because he may have an explosive.
"It was this situation into which the soldier entered. We see him talk to an officer or soldier, then turn his attention to the fact that the terrorist moved. This means that the soldier's comments were correct and accurate."
"That officer or soldier took something from him, so it would be easier for the soldier who shot to use his weapon. He moved people away from the firing line, they moved and then he fired a single shot. Not a burst and not excessively, but rather a single bullet," Dr. Helmer continued.
"The terrorist moved his head and his arm together. The movement of the hand is suitable for someone who is activating an explosive, meaning that the suspicion was real. His clothes, too. Even though it was a warm day he wore several layers, which raises the suspicion of an explosive. This means that the soldier's manner was justified and that he acted correctly. He identified the intention and immediately acted just as the army trained him to do and just as the Minister of Defense did when he was in Sayeret Matkal."
Helmer continued: "If there was an explosive belt, he would have been a hero. No one would be talking about a 'lapsed soldier' or a murderer. They would have called him a hero. This is a very fine line and it's difficult for us to decide, in this third intifada when we require the soldiers to check again and again. Why again and again, after he stabbed someone? He already carried out a stabbing."
In light of these findings, Dr. Helmer was asked if he thinks his professional analysis would cause him to be labeled as "right wing" by the media. He answered that his findings have no relevance to his political positions on issues, though "If they still asked me, then I am not right-wing. There are very clear facts here. The soldier acted according to what he felt was right at the time that he saw an immediate and clear threat."
Helmer acknowledged that various officials have pointed to the fact that six minutes passed between the attack and the shooting. However, he countered that the clip shows the soldier only arrived at the scene seconds before he saw movement and fired. Had it been a soldier who was present for several minutes and only then shot the terrorist, it would be a different issue.
To conclude, Dr. Helmer agreed it is unlikely that the politicians and journalists who severely bashed the soldier would retract their statements should they be proven wrong.