Israeli soldier cashiered for killing Palestinian

The soldier was involved in the accidental killing of a Palestinian civilian.

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2011, 12:40 PM IST

Jerusalem: The Israeli military said on Wednesday a soldier had been expelled from the Army after being involved in the accidental killing of a Palestinian civilian during a recent West Bank raid.

The shooting took place inside an apartment building in the heart of the southern West Bank city of Hebron two weeks ago as troops were searching for a Hamas member.

The dead man was identified as Omar Kawasme, 67, the uncle of Hamas member Wael al-Bitar.

In a statement following the conclusion of an investigation into the incident, the Army said two soldiers were involved in the shooting.

The investigation found that the first soldier opened fire after Kawasme made a sudden, suspect movement.

"This firing was executed in accordance with Israel Defence Force (IDF) rules of engagement," the statement found.

However, the second soldier joined the shooting after watching the first soldier shooting, the statement said.

The investigation concluded he "acted unprofessionally," and the commanding officer "ordered that the soldier`s military term be terminated”.

The soldier, who was not named, was a member of an elite urban combat unit.

"The IDF deeply regrets the death," the statement said.

Bureau Report