‘Hevron soldier acted according to wartime protocol’

Attorney Binyamin Malka, one of two lawyers defending the IDF soldier who last Thursday shot a wounded terrorist in Hevron, spoke to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday about the ongoing court drama.

At a military court hearing last Friday the soldier was accused of murder, but on Tuesday the military prosecutor made no mention of murder, and the judge said the evidence against the soldier was "not unequivocal."

"The decision of the judge to extend the arrest only by two days, even though the prosecutor asked for nine days, speaks for itself," Malka told Arutz Sheva.

"Even the judge said that the evidence is not unequivocal and the attempt to present it as unequivocal belies the truth."

Malka said he is convinced that the truth will out, saying, "we expect that the prosecutor will accept the version of the soldier, which is the correct (version), that he acted according to the regulations at a time of battle. There is another hearing on Thursday and we are encouraged."

The soldier has argued he shot the terrorist – who minutes earlier together with an accomplice stabbed and wounded a soldier – over concerns he was moving to detonate a bomb belt that was thought to be hidden under his unseasonably thick coat. That version of events was vindicated by a Magen David Adom (MDA) investigative committee.

In response to the arrest there has been an uproar, and hundreds of protesters showed up at the military court in Qastina on Tuesday to support the soldier.

According to the attorney, the protests of support have greatly strengthened the soldier's family.

"We give the legal and emotional cover for the soldier and the family, we see the protests, it isn't a legal matter, but certainly it encourages the family that they are being showered in love, but that doesn't have an influence (on the case)," said Malka.

The soldier has been the subject of condemnation from IDF brass and politicians, with one of his prime accusers being Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud).

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot on Wednesday morning sent out a special message to IDF soldiers and commanders in the wake of the shooting incident.

In the message, Eizenkot said, "the commanders, and I at their head, will continue to give backing to every soldier who makes a mistake in the heat of battle against an enemy endangering the lives of citizens and soldiers."

However, the Chief of Staff added, "we will not hesitate to mete out justice on soldiers and commanders who deviate from the operational and moral measure according to which we act."

"The eyes of the nation are on us with expectations of security while preserving the moral image of the IDF."

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/210095

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