IDF probe: Soldiers did not hesitate to respond during attack

An IDF probe into Sunday’s terror attack rejects the claim that soldiers at the scene hesitated to respond.  

The IDF’s initial investigation of Sunday’s deadly terror attack in Jerusalem, which claimed the lives of four IDF soldiers and injured 15 others, shows that soldiers at the scene did not hesitate to respond to the attack and that initial claims to the contrary were unfounded.

The investigation determined that a number of soldiers opened fire at the truck-driving terrorist, Fadi al-Qunbar, while an officer ordered other soldiers to take cover after the shooting began.

The IDF rejected claims that soldiers had been reluctant to open fire because of what was termed as the “Azaria effect” in light of the verdict in the trial of Elor Azaria last week.

Azaria was convicted of manslaughter by a military court on Wednesday for shooting a neutralized terrorist in the head as he lay wounded on the ground. The terrorist had stabbed the soldier’s colleagues.

The IDF stressed that since the Azaria incident in Hebron last March, there have been dozens of terror attacks during which soldiers opened fire and responded properly.

The probe was launched as a result of claims made by Eitan Rond, a tour guide present at the attack, who said he shot at the terrorist while many soldiers in the area were slow to respond, blaming their alleged hesitation on last week’s verdict.

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The IDF later released a video of an unidentified soldier who said he had rushed to the truck, loaded his gun and opened fire as soon as it was clear the incident was an attack.

The moment the soldiers understood that they were experiencing a terrorist attack, and not a car accident, they fired at the terrorist, IDF spokesman Motti Almoz stated.

Speaking to IDF Radio on Monday, Rond partially retracted his initial statement, saying his words were somewhat exaggerated because they were made in the heat of the moment.

“I apologize for the things that were said amid emotional turmoil and coming from a feeling that I was the only one there [responding]. I still feel that despite the exemplary response [of the some of the soldiers], there were many who did not” treat the incident properly.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News