The full testimony of the IDF soldier who last month shot dead a wounded Arab terrorist in Hevron reveals the reasons he decided to shoot the attacker, who mere minutes earlier together with an accomplice stabbed and wounded a soldier.
On Monday night Channel 2 published the transcription of the soldier's testimony, which details his concerns that the terrorist was moving to detonate a hidden bomb belt – other soldiers at the scene, a Magen David Adom (MDA) investigative committee and a CID officer have all confirmed that concerns of a bomb belt had not been ruled out.
The soldier, who is facing manslaughter charges, spoke about the moment when he shot, saying, "at that second someone, I think one of the civilians, shouted 'watch out, he might have an explosive on him,' like a bomb belt."
"I saw him with a large black coat, I think it was closed. The videos of Hamas cells telling us that they're planning to do quality terror attacks, maybe suicide (attacks), started to rise up (in my mind)."
In his testimony the soldier went on to describe that the terrorist's "coat was fur-lined and large, on a really hot sunny day, 30° C (86° F – ed.). …All those (Hamas) videos caused me to make a decision that really wasn't easy in a split second, I cocked my gun, told people to move and shot him once in the head."
"I was pretty shaken, maybe (it was) because of that and that my hands were covered in blood (of the soldier's comrade who was wounded in the attack – ed.), and in any case I am not used to arriving at the scene and seeing a terrorist dead like that, I'm not used to seeing dead people, terrorists."
"If he actually had a bomb belt and he detonated, what would have happened? How many would have been killed? They would have asked why no one thought to confirm that he was neutralized. And that's what I did, I confirmed he was neutralized."
The combat soldier questioned those who condemned him, saying, "the Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Chief of Staff say they need to cut off the hands of the terror, how do they want to do that?"
"In the end I do that in the way they outlined, to destroy the terror, and they put me on trial for doing my job which is to defend myself, my comrades and the state of Israel," he continued.
"Only because they're afraid maybe of the papers and what the world will say (they act) to clean the hands of the IDF, (and say) that the soldier didn't act properly."