Science Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) on Friday added his voice to the few politicians defending the IDF soldier filmed shooting a neutralized terrorist a day earlier, after the latter together with an accomplice repeatedly stabbed and wounded a soldier at a guard post in Hevron.
The soldier, who serves in the Kfir Brigade, was brought in for a hearing on an extension of his arrest at the military court in Jaffa (Yafo) on Friday, and he currently faces an investigation.
He maintains that he shot the terrorist who was still moving over fears the attacker was about to detonate a bomb belt; video on Friday confirmed that it was thought the terrorist had explosives hidden under his coat which he wore despite the warm weather.
"One must follow the open-fire orders," said Akunis on Friday, while adding that the soldier must not be judged so long as the investigation against him has not concluded.
"Better a dead terrorist than a dead soldier," he emphasized.
Speaking to Radio Tel Aviv, the minister said, "this needs to be checked in the most thorough way, without convicting him in the press. You don't convict on Twitter and not in the papers. There is a very serious phenomenon, the conversation on the social networks has become a courtroom."
"Reality needs to be reality and not a video of B'Tselem," he said, indicating the Arab camerawoman of the radical leftist NGO who filmed the soldier without sound. If present, recordings of the sound would evidently have indicated the soldiers' concern that the terrorist was about to detonate, as revealed in the video exposed on Friday.
Akunis concluded by saying, "the police are the ones authorized to determine."