MAAN NEWS AGENCY
Soldier who shot prisoner at close range released
Date: 22 / 07 / 2008 Time: 09:29
Bethlehem � Ma'an � The Israeli soldier who was filmed shooting a rubber-coated metal bullet at a hand-cuffed Palestinian man returned to serve in his military division after Israeli military prosecutors released him on Tuesday.
In interrogation, the soldier said he received a directive to shoot at the Palestinian from his commander who was present at the time. However, the commander has denied giving the order, asserting that he just asked the soldier to point his rifle at the prisoner in order to scare the hand-cuffed young man. He claims not to have seen the incident despite appearing in the video.
The incident occurred in the village of Ni'lin west of Ramallah in the central West Bank on the 7 July. Ashraf Abu Rahma, 27, was arrested during a demonstration against the separation wall in Ni'lin. He told the press that Israeli soldiers attacked him after he was hand-cuffed and masked before he was taken into a military jeep.
A 14-year-old Palestinian girl filmed the Israeli soldier shooting Abu Rahma in his foot from a range of one and a half meters while he was hand-cuffed. The girl gave a copy of the film to Israeli humanitarian organization, B'Tselem.
Eyewitnesses in Ni'lin said they saw the same soldier patrolling in the village the day after the assault.