Israeli soldiers charged over shooting at blindfolded Palestinian

Israel Materials 8 August 2008 00:25 (UTC +04:00)

An Israeli soldier and his commander are facing a military court for shooting a blindfolded, handcuffed Palestinian protester in the foot with a rubber-coated metal bullet, an Israeli army spokesperson said Thursday in Tel Aviv, the dpa reported.

Both men are accused of dishonourable behaviour and a military trial will begin in the near future, the spokesman added.

The July 7 incident in the village of Nil'in north-west of Jerusalem was criticised worldwide after video footage of it was published by the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem on July 20.

The pictures, recorded by a 14-year-old resident, showed the Israeli soldier shooting at close range at Ashraf Abu Rahma, 27, who had been detained following protests against the Israeli barriers in the village.

The soldier, who later passed a lie detector test, had said that his officer had repeatedly ordered him to shoot at the Palestinian. The officer was suspended last week but only dismissed on Wednesday.

Rahma was lightly wounded, according to the Israeli military.