After killing stabber, soldier shook hands with far-right activist
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After killing stabber, soldier shook hands with far-right activist

New video of Hebron incident shows serviceman greeting Baruch Marzel, who later lauded slaying of disarmed attacker

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A new video from an an incident during which an IDF soldier shot dead an incapacitated, disarmed Palestinian attacker in Hebron shows the shooter shaking hands with an Israeli far-right extremist after the shooting.

The short clip, published by the B’Tselem rights group on Sunday, showed the soldier, who is from the Kfir infantry brigade and who cannot be named, seeking out Baruch Marzel at the scene of the shooting.

The slain Palestinian was one of two men who attacked IDF troops near the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron last Thursday, wounding one soldier. The two assailants were shot; one was killed on the spot, and the other, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, 21, was wounded. Some ten minutes later, he was shot to death later by the soldier, who now faces a military police murder investigation. Video of the incident showed him firing at the man’s head as he lay on the ground.

In the latest video, filmed minutes after the shooting, and as army units gathered Sharif’s body and placed it on a stretcher, the soldier who shot him in the head is seen approaching two men watching from outside the cordon around the scene of the incident.

An IDF soldier loading his weapon before he appears to shoot a disarmed, prone Palestinian assailant in the head following a stabbing attack in Hebron on March 24, 2016. (Screen capture: B'Tselem)
An IDF soldier loading his weapon before he appears to shoot a disarmed, prone Palestinian assailant in the head following a stabbing attack in Hebron on March 24, 2016. (Screen capture: B’Tselem)

One of the men was identified as a local Magen David Adom paramedic and the other as Marzel, a Boston-born ultra-nationalist, who is a resident of Tel Rumeida, a Jewish settlement enclave located in the heart of the Palestinian city.

The soldier can be seen stepping past the cordon and speaking with the paramedic before seeking out Marzel and shaking his hand. Afterward, the soldier returns to the other troops inside the cordon.

According to the army, the soldier said before shooting the surviving Palestinian stabber that he should be killed, and told his commanders afterward that the assailant had deserved to die.

Baruch Marzel, December 24, 2014. (photo credit: Amir Levy/Flash90)
Baruch Marzel (photo credit: Amir Levy/Flash90)

Marzel is a familiar face at security incidents in Hebron. He is known to hand out food packages to soldiers serving in the area and buys a pizza for any soldier who “neutralizes” an attacker — military jargon for subduing attackers and often a euphemism for shooting them.

Reacting to the footage of the handshake, Marzel insisted that while he did not know at the time that the soldier had been the one to kill the attacker, “If I had known… I would have kissed and hugged him too.”

“Anyone who kills a terrorist should get a medal,” he said. “I love all of the soldiers and shake the hands of all the soldiers, and I don’t plan to apologize for that. Soldiers were saved from murder right under my home, and I came to support the heroes.”

According to the murder indictment filed Friday by military prosecutors in the Jaffa Military Court, the wounded assailant did not pose a threat to troops when he was killed.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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