Israel’s High Court of Justice has ruled against the decision of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Judge’s Advocate General to charge a soldier and his commander with the minor charge of “unbecoming conduct.” The soldier, in the presence of his commanding officer, allegedly shot a rubber bullet from close range and hit the foot of a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainee at Ni’ilin in the West Bank in 2008. The incident was filmed by veteran NIF grantee B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
The court was petitioned by flagship NIF grantee Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Public Council against Torture in Israel (PCTI), Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights as well as B’Tselem.
The court accepted the petitioners’ protests that a verdict of “unbecoming conduct”, which does not even rise to the level of a criminal charge, would send an alarming message of disrespect for human life. The court has instructed the IDF to indict the solders with more serious charges.