IDF to soldier’s sister: The court will decide if he’s innocent

The IDF responded on Saturday night to the remarks by the sister of the soldier who on Thursday shot a wounded terrorist in Hevron.

The soldier was filmed by an Arab camerawoman shooting the terrorist on the ground, minutes after the terrorist together with an accomplice stabbed and wounded another soldier at the site.

Following the release of the video the soldier was arrested, and on Friday in a military court hearing he was accused of murder.

In a post on her Facebook page, the soldier’s sister said radical sources had turned her brother into a scapegoat, and noted the “absurd” situation in which a soldier who shot a terrorist who came to murder people is being accused of murder.

And on Saturday, the family of the soldier held a special press conference, in which they claimed he has already been convicted by the press and the politicians.

"All that we ask for is a little understanding and compassion," the soldier's sister said, speaking on behalf of the family.

"My soldier brother a year ago received a certificate for being an outstanding soldier," explained his sister on Saturday night. "He is a dedicated, patriotic soldier who loves the state, and is disciplined and courageous."

"Everyone has the right of being innocent (until proven guilty), but my brother has already been convicted and I fear that he will never have a fair trial. It is important to me to tell all of the wide public that strengthens us in recent hours not to take part in this awful lynching, my brother is not the terrorist, my brother is the soldier," she added.

Responding to the sister on Saturday night, the IDF said, "First of all, only the court will determine whether he is guilty or not, and until then he will be presumed innocent. Secondly there are clear procedures regarding how to act in a case where there is a possibility of explosives on the bodies of terrorists, as was the case here."

A platoon commander checked the terrorist and ensured there were no explosives on his body before the soldier arrived, “so there is no truth to the claims that the soldier saw the terrorist and thought he carried an explosive,” the IDF added.

"There are procedures in the army and the soldier knows them well, and yet the entire matter will be brought before the court in an orderly manner," said the statement.

The soldier has explained that he shot the terrorist because he thought he was about to detonate a bomb belt, in a version of events confirmed by a witness at the scene who said there were concerns the terrorist had explosives hidden under his coat, which he wore despite it being a warm day.

In further vindication of the soldier's account, on Friday a second video emerged taken at the scene, showing several people expressing concern that the terrorist “looks like he has an explosive pack," and warning others to keep clear of him until a bomb sapper arrives.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/209930

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