Last Thursday, the world's Muslim community was outraged following the release of a video of an Israeli Defense Force medic executing a wounded and disarmed Palestinian terrorist. Israel’s far-right coalition has responded by celebrating the incident.
Abdel Fattah al-Sharif and his accomplice Ramzi al-Kasrawi, both 21, had stabbed an Israeli soldier in the city of Hebron, moderately wounding him. Nearby soldiers responded by opening fire; Kasrawi was killed and Sharif was gravely wounded. Ambulances arrived to attend to the fallen IDF soldier while the two assailants lay on the road. Then, as the incident was being recorded, one of the soldiers shot Sharif in the head in what UN special rapporteur Christof Heyns condemned as an extrajudicial execution. The serviceman responsible was immediately executed.
Approval of the Israeli soldier's move isn't limited to the country's right. A poll conducted for Israel’s Channel 2 News found that 57 percent of the public said no arrest or investigation into the medic’s actions was necessary, and only 32 percent of those polled thought his arrest was necessary.
Israel’s apparent disconnect with the rest of the world stretches further than public opinion polls. Over the last several days, rallies have been held in support of the IDF medic, referring to him as a national hero, along with online petitions demanding that he be given a medal for his action.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, however, does not agree with this assessment. Deriding the far-right for creating a "brutal army that has lost its moral backbone" he said that the medic was "not a hero" but rather somebody who criminally violated the international rules of engagement.
The soldier's attorney claims that his client was justified in shooting the man because he thought the unarmed Palestinian "might have a bomb."
Moral outrage against the executioner continues to mount. Subsequent videos have shown the medic shaking hands with an ultraconservative Kahanist leader following the shooting.
Witnesses have also claimed that the medic told other soldiers who witnessed the shooting that the man "deserved to die."
Video evidence shows that the Palestinian terrorist had been lying on the street, wounded, for 11 minutes following the stabbing. It was only when the injured man lifted his head that the medic shot and killed him.