IDF sniper convicted in connection to death of Palestinian rioter

The soldier was not punished with manslaughter because “necessary evidence was not found of criminal wrongdoing.”

By World Israel News Staff 

Amid mass Palestinian rioting which has taken place on Fridays along the Gazan border with Israel, an Israeli military court has handed down a 30-day sentence against an IDF soldier, in connection to the death of a Palestinian involved in the violence.

The punishment against the Israeli soldier is to be carried out through military work, a suspended prison term, and demotion to private, says the IDF.

The soldier “was convicted, based on his confession, in the framework of a plea bargain, for overstepping his authority, leading to threatening life or well-being,” said a military statement.

The soldier was not punished with manslaughter because, according to the Israeli military, “necessary evidence was not found of criminal wrongdoing, establishing direct cause between the soldier’s fire and the harm to the rioter.”

In giving context to the incident, the IDF says in its statement that in the court case it emerged that “on July 13, 2018, during a violent disturbance, the soldier fired at a Palestinian rioter who had climbed on the security fence across from the Gaza Strip.”

According to the Israeli military, the soldier had done so “without receiving the required authorization from his commanders and not in accordance with open-fire orders, and not in accordance with instructions which were relayed to him previously.”

This is said to be the first conviction of an IDF soldier in relation to the Hamas-encouraged protests which began after American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, reached a peak in May 2018 when the U.S. Embassy was moved to Jerusalem, and has continued on Fridays following Muslim Sabbath prayers.

The Hamas violence was coined “The March of Return.”

Details about the soldier are barred by the military court from publication, says the IDF.

Hamas, recognized by the U.S. and other countries as a terrorist organization, has run the Gaza Strip since 2007, when it overthrew the Palestinian Authority, which was established in parts of Judea and Samaria, and in the Gaza Strip following talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in the 1990s.

The rioting continues to take place on a weekly basis, in addition to other periodic cross-border violence.