Monday, March 4th | 24 Adar I 5784

March 27, 2016 11:15 pm

Moving Facebook Post Defending IDF Infantryman Accused of ‘Executing’ Terrorist Goes Viral as Social Media Survey Says Most Israelis Support His Action

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avatar by Ruthie Blum

A scene from the B'Tselem video in the immediate aftermath of the Palestinian stabbing attack in Hebron on Thursday. Photo: Screenshot.

A scene from the B’Tselem video in the immediate aftermath of the Palestinian stabbing attack in Hebron on Thursday. Photo: Screenshot.

The Facebook post of a former IDF soldier has gone viral since it was uploaded on Saturday night, with nearly 23,000 shares so far and almost 3,000 comments.

The post, written by Dror Zicherman, is a defense of the soldier accused of “murdering” a Palestinian terrorist who committed a stabbing attack in Hebron on Thursday. According to initial charges, the soldier shot the assailant — one of two terrorists committing the attack — after he was already restrained.

The incident is causing a storm in Israel, with a Buzzilla survey reported by Israel’s Channel 2 concluding that 82 percent of social media users in the country have been expressing support for the soldier and his actions, which have been publicly condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a cross section of Israel’s political and defense establishment.

Zicherman’s post, in Hebrew, reads — in part — as follows [Algemeiner translation, ed.]:

I have to get something off my chest that’s been weighing on me… since hearing about the soldier who killed the terrorist who tried to kill him…

On December 29, 2005, I was part of a team on a routine patrol during ongoing operational activities carried out by my battalion in [the Palestinian town of] Tulkarm [in the West Bank].

During the patrol, we received a warning about the intention of terrorists to commit an attack at a Hanukkah event in Israel. [My commander, Lt.] Uri Binamo, therefore, decided to erect a road block…

We received a specific order to check the cars leaving Tulkarm and heading to Israel, with the main detail at our disposal being the birth date of the terrorist in 1976. And so we did. We examined the cars carefully. Fifty minutes after we had erected the road block, a Palestinian taxi arrived with eight passengers from whom I took ID cards. One of these showed the 1976 birth date. Immediately, we ordered the passengers to get out of the taxi so that we could check them.

We checked the first three and saw that they did not have weapons on them, so we told them to move off to the side. The fourth passenger was wearing a leather coat. Though it was December, it was a hotter day than usual.

That passenger turned out to be a suicide bomber…

Uri wanted to check that passenger, whose leather coat had aroused my suspicion terribly. As he was being examined, I aimed my weapon at his head. When Uri saw me [do this], he turned to me and we had the following exchange, which I will never forget.

Uri: Zicherman, you are not to shoot.

Me: But he is wearing a leather coat.

Uri: You are not to shoot, period.

I, of course, listened to Uri, acting in accordance with the procedures whereby it is only permissible to shoot if a terrorist has been positively identified.

A few seconds later, Uri turned around and addressed the terrorist initially in Hebrew.

Uri: Open your coat and show me your shirt.

The terrorist looked at him all wide-eyed, as though he didn’t understand Hebrew, and then Uri started yelling at him in Arabic, while signaling me not to shoot, as I held my weapon with a bullet in the chamber, aimed directly at the terrorist’s face. But I listened to Uri and did nothing.

Uri: (In Arabic) Lift up your shirt.

The terrorist looked at me, then back at Uri and made a movement as though he was about to remove his shirt.

Instead, he detonated the switch of the bomb he had on him — nearly 30 kilos of explosives — and blew himself up on me and Uri. Uri was killed and I was critically wounded…

Why am I sharing this? Because I am sick and tired and very frustrated with what has been happening in our country… For months, IDF soldiers have been faced with the dilemma of whether to neutralize or kill terrorists. And each time, the same analysts on the various TV channels discuss what kind of society we have become.

The [current] incident hit a new record. A soldier kills a terrorist and all the media publish “photos of the atrocity” — of the “execution” — as though the soldier simply executed some innocent passerby who did nothing…

Everyone is competing for who can be the most shocked by this incident …

And the military assessment… is to disavow him. Everybody is …saying that the IDF doesn’t execute people.

True, an IDF soldier does not execute people. An IDF soldier kills terrorists.

That terrorist also wore a leather coat on a hot day. That terrorist also made a movement as though he was about to detonate a bomb. The soldier did not kill an innocent civilian. He killed a person with the means and intent to murder soldiers or random Israelis.

The procedures in question in the IDF are a joke, a very bad joke.

Tell me more about how humane our army is, but before talking about the rules of engagement, remember that because of [them], Uri is gone and I remain seriously impaired and shell-shocked.

Who knows? Maybe it’s better to be thought of as a murderer… than being shell-shocked.

What I am certain about is that the soldier in question is a hero and I salute him. He killed a terrorist and prevented innocent people from being harmed in the future.

Zicherman’s post was in response to the initial public condemnation of the IDF infantryman from the Shimshon Battalion of the Kfir Brigade caught on camera by left-wing NGO B’Tselem shooting a subdued terrorist in the head. This was after two terrorists committed their stabbing attack.

According to a Channel 2 report on Sunday, an investigation into the actions of the soldier is underway, and during the next few weeks, the IDF Advocate General will determine whether to indict or exonerate him.

Attorney Yaakov Koren, who serves as a military court judge, told Channel 2, “I believe that all public statements are premature at this point. We have to let the IDF Military Police complete its investiation. On a theoretical level, it is clear that ‘executions’ cannot be permitted. On the other hand, we have to take into account the immense pressure that the soldiers serving in the territories are experiencing.”

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