Only minor punitive steps were taken on Sunday, November 19, against two commanders in the Israeli army involved in a wrongful and unjustified fatal shooting last month near the West Bank village of Nebi Salah.
According to an investigation, an Israeli military force operating in the area on October 31 spotted a vehicle that seemed suspicious and signaled for the driver, Mohammad Abdallah Ali Musa, 26, to stop. When Musa failed to do so, they shot at the car, killing him and wounding his sister, Latifah Musa, 33.
The results of the inquiry were presented in recent days to the head of the military’s Central Command, Major-General Roni Numa. They determined that the commanders were “acting unprofessionally” in not properly ascertaining the behavior of the driver of the suspicious vehicle. Following the inquiry, Colonel Dado Bar-Kalifa, commander of the Givati Brigade, reprimanded a deputy company commander and relieved a squad commander from his duties.
The Israeli army added in a statement issued on Tuesday, November 21, that “the operational lessons determined by the inquiry regarding the position of the force and the way it operated and responded are being taken into consideration and will be studied by all of the forces.”
Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) severely criticized the actions taken by the military, saying that the punishment is ridiculously insignificant. “A brother and a sister are driving in a car together, listening to music and having fun, until bullets pierce the car killing them,” he said. “But the shooters are not indicted for murder and not even for manslaughter – they are merely reprimanded and told they behaved unprofessionally.”