Lawyers Call for Halting Probe into Soldier involved in Friendly Fire Killing
Earlier this week, an IDF soldier had accidentally shot his comrade, resulting in his death. The lawyers representing the soldier spoke up on Wednesday and said the probe into the incident should be halted.
The attorneys said that the soldier was undergoing a lot of ‘mental distress’ after the tragic incident, due to which the investigation should be stopped.
The Military Advocate General said that Sgt. ‘Aleph Mem’ was suffering from lack of sleep and was under a great deal of stress.
Therefore, they demanded that the Military Police stop their interrogation. The soldier has only been identified through the initials of his name in Hebrew.
The advocate general claimed that they were interrogating the soldier in an ‘unfair’ and ‘scandalous’ way.
Late Monday, Aleph Mem shot and killed 20-year old Sgt. Nathan Fitoussi in the Kfir Brigade, after an apparent misidentification when he returned to a guard post.
The incident occurred near Tulkarem, the Palestinian city, along with West Bank border. The preliminary probe of the IDF had disclosed that open-fire procedures of the military had been followed by the soldier.
These include first asking a suspect to halt, then firing a shot in the air and eventually using deadly force if the solider perceives a threat.
20 year Fitoussi had informed his comrades that he was going to pray and would be back in a short while.
However, when he did return, one of his comrades followed an arrest procedure upon his return and shot him. This involves shooting in the air and then at the legs.
The initial probe revealed that the shooting happened late at night and the two soldiers had been standing at a distance.
Aleph Mem shot Fitoussi twice and it remained unclear as to what had made him come off as a threat. There were some explanations being explored in this regard.
One of the explanations was that Fitoussi had heard Aleph yelling and believed it was because of a different suspect, so he ran to help him.
The purpose of the probe is to try and understand how the fatal misunderstanding occurred and why Fitoussi had been identified as a suspect by the shooter, even though he knew the former had gone to pray.
It is also aimed at discovering why Fitoussi did not follow the orders of his comrade and identify himself.
According to a family friend of Fitoussi’s family, his parents do not hold the solider responsible for shooting their son.
A close friend of Fitoussi’s father said that the deceased soldier’s parents were not angry and actually felt sorry for the soldier.
Fitoussi was buried on Tuesday evening at the Netanya military cemetery. An IDF spokesman said that the soldier behind the shooting was cooperating fully with the investigation.
The spokesman said that they would do their best to understand what went through his mind that led to the shooting and would take care of him.
The Military Advocate General spoke on behalf of the soldier, who stated that he had followed instructions.