Harsher charges ordered in prisoner shooting

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the military prosecutor to file more serious charges against an officer and a soldier who shot a bound Palestinian.

The court’s ruling Wednesday came in response to a petition filed by the Palestinian victim and four human rights organizations saying that the charge of improper conduct was not commensurate with "the gravity of the acts."

During the incident, which took place last September in the West Bank village of Na’alin, the officer held the handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian Ashraf Abu Rahmeh, 27, and ordered his staff sergeant to fire a rubber-coated bullet into the prisoner’s foot. The incident was captured on videotape by the B’Tselem human rights group.

The officer left the army, reportedly in return for the lighter indictment. The officer has claimed that the soldier misunderstood his command and that he did not intend for the prisoner to be shot.   

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