An Israeli soldier has been arrested after being captured on video allegedly shooting a Palestinian knifeman who was lying injured on the ground following an attempt to kill troops.
The Israeli army said the incident took place in the West Bank city of Hebron after two Palestinians stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier, adding that troops then shot and killed the pair.
Ramzi Al-Qasarawi and Abdel-Fattah Al-Sharif, both 21, were identified as the Palestinians who were shot and pictured lying on the ground after the attack.
Footage filmed by a bystander showed one of the two assailants lying on the ground following the stabbing, barely moving.
As Israeli ambulances arrived and soldiers milled around, one soldier appeared to take aim with his weapon and shoot a round into the head of the Palestinian lying on the ground.
The man's body jerked and blood could be seen streaming from his head. Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner called the incident a ‘grave breach’ of army values.
Military police have detained the soldier, which Lt Col Lerner called an ‘extraordinary’ measure, and are investigating the incident. The military said the investigation began before the video surfaced.
An Israeli hospital spokesman said the soldier in yesterday’s attack was in a stable condition and initial checks showed he had sustained light injuries.
A statement from the Israeli military said: 'Two assailants stabbed an (Israeli) soldier at a military post in Hebron. Forces responded to the attack and shot the assailants, resulting in their deaths.'
Hebron, where there is a community of around 1,000 Israeli settlers living in the middle of the city of 200,000, has been the scene of many violent incidents over the past six months.
Yesterday’s attack took place inside the area where Jewish settlers live side-by-side with some Palestinian residents.
The United Nations, the European Union and the United States have backed Israel's right to defend itself during a six-month campaign of street attacks by Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, while also urging restraint in the use of force.
Human rights groups have accused Israeli forces of too readily resorting to gunfire to wound or kill attackers rather than trying to detain them by other means.
In some cases, Palestinians have been shot on suspicion that they were about to carry out an attack.