IDF investigating why soldier failed to shoot attacker

The IDF soldier failed to react after a Palestinian threw a firebomb at him.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The IDF is investigating why an IDF soldier failed to open fire after a video posted to social media appeared to show a Palestinian throwing a Molotov cocktail at him from close range Saturday evening, then running back to his car and easily escaping.

“A Molotov cocktail was thrown at a fighter at a post near Kedumim in Samaria. An IDF force began pursuing the suspect. The incident ended without any damage or casualties,” the IDF Spokesperson’s said in a statement, adding that the incident is being investigated to find out why the soldier did not shoot.

The 25-second-long video shows the terrorist getting out of his car on the two-lane intercity road outside the town of Kedumim in Samaria, some 35 kilometers (20 miles) northeast of Tel Aviv.

The man walks across the highway as a few cars drive by, comes to about three meters (10 feet) of the soldier from the Golani Brigade who is standing on the sidewalk near his guard post. The soldier backs away from the man and appears to point his weapon, as the man is seen lighting a firebomb and throwing it at the soldier from close range.

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However, despite the close distance the bottle of flaming liquid misses its target and explodes on the ground beside the soldier, who moves away from the flames but apparently does not open fire. The man then runs back across the road, gets in his car and drives away as the soldier remains behind.

With no other Palestinians seemingly involved, the attack appears to have been a suicide attempt. The attacker was armed only with an initially unlit Molotov cocktail and confronted an Israeli combat soldier armed with an assault rifle who would in normal circumstances have shot and neutralized the attacker before the firebomb was thrown.

“This story is simply insane,” tweeted Knesset member Bezalel Smotrich of the right-wing Yemina Party who lives in Kedumim. “A fighter in Golani is afraid of opening fire at a terrorist who lights a firebomb and throws it at him from close range right underneath my home in Kedumim.”

Smotrich said “this fighter is not guilty” and laid the blame on Israel’s legal system, which he claimed prosecutes those defending themselves, saying the country should “not be surprised when fighters are afraid to shoot terrorists.”