A former Israel Defense Force chief of staff has concluded that Israeli soldiers did not carry out a “kill verification” by mistake on an Israeli Druse officer who was killed during a clash in southern Lebanon three months ago.
Maj. Kewaan Hamad was killed Dec. 19 during a clash with Islamic fundamentalist Hezbollah gunmen in the western sector of the security zone.
Newspaper reports alleged at the time that Hamad was killed by Israeli fire when soldiers mistook him for a wounded Hezbollah gunman and conducted a “kill verification.”
A “kill verification” is verifying the death of an enemy in the battlefield, if necessary, by shooting the enemy at close range.
The story caused further controversy when it appeared that reports concerning the soldier’s death may have been concealed from his family.
In February, Lt. Gen. Moshe Levy was appointed to examine the circumstances surrounding Hamad’s death.
This week, Levy said that he would not rule out the possibility that Hamad may have been hit by IDF crossfire after he was fatally wounded.
But Levy concluded that no “kill verification” had been carried out.
At the onset of the inquiry, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, along with other military and government officials, declared that no such practice exists in the army’s standing orders.
Israel Radio said that Levy, who presented his report to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, criticized the fact that the IDF did not initially give the Hamad family all the details surrounding the officer’s death, particularly the fact that he could have been hit by IDF fire.