Israeli Officer in Multiple Shooting of Girl Is Held
The Israeli army on Tuesday arrested an officer accused of repeatedly shooting a 13-year-old Palestinian girl point-blank to make sure she was dead, as his soldiers pleaded with him to stop.
A preliminary hearing by army commanders had cleared the officer, but further investigation by military police raised suspicions that he gave false testimony, an army statement said.
He was not immediately charged, military officials said.
Soldiers fired at the girl, Iman Hamss, Oct. 5 as she approached a military observation post near the Gaza Strip’s Rafah refugee camp. They said they suspected she was planting a bomb. The girl’s family said she was on her way to school when she was shot.
Soldiers from the unit later told Israeli media that the arrested officer, whose name has not been released, walked up to the girl after she was hit and sprayed her bleeding body with bullets, a practice that is illegal.
It is not known whether the girl was dead when he shot her.
Israeli soldiers have become increasingly wary of Palestinian teenagers and women after several carried out suicide bombings or transported explosives.
Hundreds of Palestinian children and teens have been killed by army fire in the last four years.