After the Israeli military announced Wednesday that an officer who shot a bound, gagged Palestinian at point blank range with a rubber-coated steel bullet would be dismissed from his post, the Israeli Information Center for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, B’Tselem, stated that mere dismissal is insufficient, and the officer should be punished.
The officer shot the youth after detaining the teen at a non-violent weekly protest in the village of Bil’in. The incident was filmed by a young woman in the village who had a camera provided by B’Tselem. When the video was made public, a number of human rights groups expressed their outrage at the blatant violation of international human rights standards and laws.
Lt. Colonel Omri Burberg, the officer responsible for the shooting, will be indicted on a minor charge of "inappropriate behavior for a commander." This was part of a deal made between Burberg and Northern Command Major General Gadi Eisenkot, the overall commander of Battalion 71.
At Burberg’s hearing, Eisenkot stated that the incident "was serious and reflected a failure of command and values, even though the battalion commander did not intend for real shots to be fired, only that it be used as a scare tactic."
The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem stated that the mere dismissal of the officer is a disgrace, particularly considering the fact that the incident was videotaped and there was thus no question about what transpired.
The group called for a further hearing and punishment of the officer, as well as his commanding officer.