Soldier admits he “was not sharp enough” in failing to open fire to neutralize the terrorist who attacked him.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The IDF soldier who was almost set on fire when a Palestinian threw a Molotov cocktail at him admitted to investigators that he wasn’t “sharp” when watched his attacker escape without opening fire, Ynet reported Sunday.
According to the army investigation , the soldier who belongs to the Golani Brigade’s patrol battalion was on duty Saturday evening and noticed a suspicious vehicle stopping on the side of the road across from his position outside the entrance to the community of Ma’ale Nehemiah.
The soldier said he went down to the road and started shouting at the driver of the car, without noticing whether it was a Jewish or a Palestinian driver.
At first he shouted in Hebrew, but when he saw that the driver was coming towards him, he shouted at him in Arabic to stop, and he said he used the procedure for stopping a suspicious person that only involved cocking his weapon.
“I did not see him holding anything threatening in his hand,” the soldier explained in the interrogation, according to military sources.
Because the Palestinian continued to advance despite the soldier’s calls for him to stop, the soldier suspected that he was approaching him with the intention of stabbing him.
However, the Palestinian stopped a few meters away where he lit a Molotov cocktail and threw it towards soldier, but it exploded on the ground near him and he was not injured. The soldier was surprised by the incident and did not respond, and the terrorist ran across the road back to his car and escaped.
The soldier admitted during the interrogation that he made a mistake and was not “sharp” enough when he refrained from firing at the terrorist who threw the firebomb at him.
The terrorist was arrested a few hours after the incident, and the the Golani Battalion has not yet decided what disciplinary actions will be taken against the soldier, the report said.
An investigation conducted by the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division revealed that in 95% of the incidents of firebomb throwing encountered by Israeli forces in the past year, soldiers returned fire to neutralize the threat, in some cases killing or wounding the attackers.