Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted on Sunday to the shooting of a wounded Palestinian at point-blank range in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron earlier this week, stating that any questioning of the Israeli army’s moral integrity was “outrageous and unacceptable.”
During the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu commented in the wake of the killing of Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, 21, on Thursday, which sparked widespread outrage after footage by Israeli rights group B’Tselem showed an Israeli soldier shooting al-Sharif in the head while the young Palestinian was lying wounded on the ground after allegedly stabbing an Israeli soldier.
Another Palestinian, 21-year-old Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, was also killed on the scene. One Israeli soldier was treated for moderate wounds.
“Any challenge to the morality of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) is outrageous and unacceptable. The soldiers of the IDF, our children, maintain high ethical values while courageously fighting against bloodthirsty murderers under difficult operational conditions,” Netanyahu said.
“I am certain that in all cases, as in the current one, the inquiry takes into account all conditions,” he added. “We must all support the IDF Chief-of-Staff, the IDF and our soldiers, who safeguard our security.”
Additional footage from B’Tselem was published by Israeli media on Sunday, revealing moments before al-Sharif was killed. The Palestinian activist who filmed the scene has said he has been threatened by Israeli settlers since the footage was made public.
In the video shared by Hebrew news website Walla, Israeli soldiers are heard saying “this dog is still alive” while speaking of al-Sharif.
An Israeli soldier is seen tying his shoelace near the wounded al-Sharif while Israeli settlers walk near the young Palestinian man lying on the ground, apparently belying the Israeli claim that he was perceived as a threat at the time he was killed.
Earlier this week, Netanyahu said the killing “(did) not represent the values of the IDF.”
However, Israel has come under repeated criticism for what many have termed a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians advocated by Israeli officials since a wave of unrest began last October.