In this image, Azarya is treating the lightly wounded Israeli soldier. His name is written on his gunstrap. His commander, Lt. Col. David Shapira, stands next to him in a black helmet. (Tikum Olam)

The soldier who executed a wounded Palestinian in Hebron

PNN/ Hebron/

On Thursday, a video of a soldier executing an injured Palestinian in Hebron went viral. Israeli army claimed that the soldier was suspended and an investigation was opened in the case.

The video by B’Tselem rights group showed the soldier, surrounded by others, approaching the Palestinian as he laid wounded on the ground.

One of the settlers said to the soldiers: “This asshole here is still breathing.”

According to Tukin Olam jewish blog, a soldier who was a medic in the unit and who had treated the wounded soldier, asked permission from his commanding officer to “finish off” the wounded Palestinian. Apparently the commander approved. The soldier walked to within six feet of the wounded Palestinian cocked his rifle and shot him. This practice is often called ‘confirming the kill’ in the IDF. Palestinian girls as young as 12 years-old have been executed in this fashion before.

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IOF treating the Israeli soldier while the the executed Palestinian is left to die

 

The execution sparked anger amongst people, and more videos of the execution began to emerge on social media, especially that many Palestinians are similarly executed by Israeli security forces, but few in as blatant a situation is these in broad daylight and on camera.

The  Tukin Olam  website said that upon wide research, the soldier was identified as  El-Or Azarya, a resident of the poor Israeli town of Ramleh, near Tel Aviv.

Other activists in Israel have helped further identifying him, finding Facebook accounts and photographs which document him before the execution. He is a devoted follower of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club. The most hardcore racist Beitar fans have formed a gangland-style fan club called La Famigilia.

Among the pages he’s Liked on Facebook are the far-right Kahanist, Baruch Marzel; the racist rapper, The Shadow, who advocated burning Palestinians alive on his Facebook page; the La Famiglia page; Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked; and Avigdor Lieberman.

It is highly unlikely that justice will be done in this incident. Normally, the army claims to investigate such incidents, does so, finds insufficient evidence to prosecute, and closes the case.

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Images from Azarya’s Facebook page. On the upper right is a unit certificate of merit for being the unit’s top soldier (Tikun Olam)