New Footage in Hebron Shooting Shows Knife Kicked Closer to Slain Palestinian Assailant

Prosecution says well-known Jewish resident of Hebron was on the scene and captured on video moving the weapon next to the body after the Palestinian was killed.

New videos have emerged from the scene in Hebron where Israeli soldier and medic Sgt. Elor Azaria shot and killed a Palestinian attacker who was already subdued and lying on the ground in March. The footage released Wednesday shows one of those present at the scene kicking the Palestinian's weapon closer to his body after Azaria had already shot him in the head.
The video was submitted as evidence in a military court in Jaffa Wednesday where military police identified one man in the footage as Ofer Ohana, a well-known Jewish resident of Hebron and a Magen David Adom ambulance driver.
In one clip, according to police, Ohana pointed out the knife on the ground which lay some distance from the Palestinian's body. In another new video, the knife was kicked and slid across the ground, bringing it significantly closer to the assailant's body.
According to military police, it was Ohana who kicked the knife and he was at the scene when Azaria shot the Palestinian, before which Ohana was caught on film yelling, "the dog is moving," referring to Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif, the Palestinian who had tried to stab Israeli soldiers before Azaria arrived on the scene.
Military prosecutors took a statement from Ohana and confiscated his phone after filing a related warrant request in court.
The prosecution also continued making their case against Azaria, who is being tried for manslaughter, saying that in footage from the scene, he "doesn't look on guard, doesn't warn of any danger and doesn't approach the terrorist. All his behavior is mellow."
Azaria was also said to have called twice to Adi Kider, a lawyer from the Honeinu organization, before a meeting with the Kfir Brigade commander after the incident. Honeinu is known for providing legal defense to Jewish settlers and other Israelis accused in high-profile cases involving Palestinian complainants.
According to the prosecution, Azaria only made the claim that he had shot the Palestinian out of fear that his body was armed with explosives after his conversation with Kider, on his way to be questioned.
One minute after the shot, at 8:34 A.M., Azaria sent a message to his father, saying that "We had an attack. My friend was wounded and killed a terrorist. I killed the second terrorist." At 1:00 P.M., Azaria spoke with attorney Yossi Boker for 10 minutes by telephone and after another 15 minutes spoke with Honeinu's Kider for the first time. Just half-an-hour afterward, at 2:00 P.M., Azaria called Kider for a second time.
Testimony is expected to be heard in court over the course of June and July, when Kfir's brigade commander and Azaria's battalion commander are expected to take the stand.
Last week, a military court judge rejected the defense's claim of discrimination and selective enforcement and turned down the related request that the prosecution provide information about other similar cases.
“Without ruling on the issue, I would say that given the cases cited by the defense and the military prosecution’s response, I don’t think the petitioner has, at the present time, submitted enough prima facie evidence substantiating its claim of selective enforcement to justify obliging the prosecution to give the defense information about other cases,” he wrote.

Gili Cohen

Haaretz Correspondent

read more: 2016 06 01 alle 21.46.15


Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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