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Thursday Jan. 20, 2011 2:24 PM (EST+7)
Israeli army discharges soldier for firing on sleeping Palestinian

Read more: Amr Qawasme, Hebron, Israeli military, Palestinian dead, Palestinian casualties, human rights, assasination, extrajudicial killing

RAMALLAH, January 20 (JMCC) - Israel's military has discharged from duty one of the soldiers who fired on a sleeping Palestinian during a January Hebron raid, reports the Guardian.

Another soldier, who initiated the firing, was exonerated by investigators because a suspicious movement caused [him] to feel his life was threatened. The dead man was asleep in bed when soldiers entered the room, according to his family. He was shot multiple times in the head and upper body.

The military said it deeply regretted the death of Amr Qawasme and acknowledged he was a civilian.

On 7 January, a special squad from an elite unit mounted a raid in search of five Hamas militants who had been released from prison the previous day by Palestinian security services. The main target, Wael Bitar, lived in the apartment below Qawasme.

The dead man's son, Raja'e, told reporters on the day of the killing that the soldiers must have thought Bitar was in the apartment. They thought it was Wael so they fired bullets immediately after entering my father's room while he was sleeping in his bed. I guess they did not make sure of his identity, he said.

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said an investigation had concluded that the initial firing at Qawasme was done following a suspicious movement that caused the soldier to feel his life was threatened. The shooting was in accordance with the IDF's rules of engagement, the inquiry found.







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