IDF officer cleared of rock-thrower’s killing

IDF officer Colonel Yisrael Shomer, who shot and killed a rock-throwing Palestinian teenager near Ramallah last July, will not be charged, the military prosecution announces.

While noting there was “a professional error in the manner in which the shooting was performed,” it says the officer was reacting in a “patently operational” situation and is therefore not criminally liable.

Colonel Yisrael Shomer (IDF spokesperson)
Colonel Yisrael Shomer (IDF spokesperson)

The investigation of Shomer was launched when video surfaced showing him shooting Muhammad Ali al-Kasbeh, 17, while the teenager was fleeing the scene after hurling a stone at his vehicle. Kasbeh later succumbed to his injuries.

The army says that Shomer was justified in opening fire under the circumstances of the incident and notes that while he aimed at al-Kasbeh’s legs, he was firing while on the move and shot inaccurately.

Shomer serves as commanding officer of the Binyamin Brigade in the West Bank.

According to a Channel 2 TV report, Shomer contended during the investigation that he feared he was in imminent danger when his vehicle was attacked and that he operated according to army protocol. He consulted his attorney before meeting with army investigators.

— Times of Israel staff contributed

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