Palestinian killing: Israel soldier fired

2011-01-20 14:04

Jerusalem - The Israeli army said it had discharged a soldier over the killing of an unarmed Palestinian shot dead in his bedroom during a raid to seize a Hamas militant in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement released late on Wednesday, the military said it "deeply regrets" the death of 65-year-old Amr Qawasme.

He was killed on January 7 when Israeli troops swooped on houses to re-arrest five members of the Islamist group Hamas who had been released from Palestinian jails the day before.

Qawasme lived with his family one floor above a Hamas militant in the city of Hebron. In what the army admitted was a mistake, soldiers broke into Qawasme's home and shot him in his bedroom during the assault.

A military inquiry said a "suspicious movement" led one squad member to open fire, believing his life was in danger. A general presented with the results of the investigation concluded that in that soldier's case "this firing was executed in accordance with the (Israeli army's) rules of engagement".

The general, considering the case of a second commando who joined in the shooting, "ordered the soldier's military term be terminated". He concluded that while he "did feel threatened, he acted unprofessionally". The statement did not give details.

There was no immediate Palestinian reaction to the army's decision. A Palestinian official had described the shooting of Qawasme as a "cold-blooded killing".

Israel and Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's self-rule administration have a common foe in Hamas, which rejects co-existence with the Jewish state and controls the Gaza Strip.

Several hundred Hamas followers have been rounded up by Abbas' forces since the Palestinian split in 2007. Hamas in Gaza has similarly cracked down on members of Abbas's Fatah movement.

  • fatz411 - 2011-01-20 14:45

    typical of israel... shoot first ask questions later. imagine the role was reversed there would probaly be war.

      Sir Charles - 2011-01-20 14:48

      Yes go Israel all the way, another 6 day war might make more room for settlements !

      GTFO - 2011-01-20 14:57

      if they really wanted to, they could do it in a day....they could take the whole middle east in 6 days..

      pop101 - 2011-01-20 15:38

      Say what you want about Israel - that was the best ever executed battle plan in the history of mankind.

  • - 2011-01-20 15:07

    It is war fatz411 and even though I do not say it's right but Hamas are the problem if the stop the violence there could be talks and peace but not when rockets are fired into civilian town mainly at schools and market areas this gives reason to attack were inocent people are always going to get hurt. Biggest problem is two wrongs do not make it right.

  • GTFO - 2011-01-20 15:17

    Look down on me, spit in my face, you're nothing to me:not to me

  • Thangy - 2011-01-21 10:15

    Can Iran hurry up with that nuclear warhead!! just wipe them all off the face of the earth

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