Supreme Court won’t intervene in plea deal for soldier who killed Palestinian

The Supreme Court has rejected a petition to re-examine a plea bargain by an Israeli soldier given three months of community service for the wrongful shooting of two Palestinians, one of whom died.

Alaa Raida, 38, was shot in the stomach by an Israeli soldier who incorrectly believed him to be throwing stones, seriously wounding him. Ahmad Manasrah, 23, arrived on the scene with several friends and attempted to help Raida before being shot and killed by the same soldier.

Ahmad Manasrah, 22, who was shot dead by an Israeli soldier on March 20, 2019, in an undated photograph. (B’Tselem)

“There’s no doubt that this is a difficult event, whose consequences were tragic. Nor does anyone dispute that in retrospect this turned out to not be a terror incident,” Justice Menachem Mazuz writes in the court’s ruling.

But the court says in its ruling that established precedent has imposed strong procedural limits on its ability to interfere with the decision by military prosecutors to seek such a low sentence.

“In this circumstance, there is no justification for judicial interference in the [prosecution’s] decisions and in their considerations,” Mazuz says.

— Aaron Boxerman