An Israeli soldier was sentenced this week to month’s labour for killing Palestinian child during Great Return March protest in occupied Gaza Strip.
The Times of Israel reported that the soldier – whose name has been banned from publication – was convicted by a military court in relation to the death of 14-year-old Othman Hilles.
The boy was shot during a peaceful demonstration on 13 July 2018 at the eastern fence of the Gaza City.
It is the first conviction in connection to the huge number of casualties amongst Great Return March demonstrators, with Israeli forces killing more than 310 and wounding around 30,000 since March 2018.
Despite Hilles being shot while unarmed and posing no threat to Israeli soldiers, the soldier was only convicted of “disobeying an order leading to a threat to life or health”, as opposed to manslaughter.
The military court sentenced the soldier to one month’s labour, as well as a demotion.
Shooting the boy was captured by an activist on his mobile phone and the video went spiral on the internet, likely a factor in the soldier being brought to trial at all.
According to the Times of Israel, the soldier – a sniper from the Givati Brigade – was not convicted of a more serious offense like manslaughter “as military prosecutors were unable to collect sufficient evidence connecting his gunshot to [the boy’s death]”.
Rights groups said that such “naïve” conviction encourages the Israeli occupation forces to shoot more and more Palestinians and proves Israel’s belief that “Palestinian blood is so cheap.”
Israeli forces shot dead 14-year-old Othman Hilles today in Gaza. Video shows he posed no direct or mortal threat at the time he was killed. A live bullet struck him in the chest and exited through his back. #GazaReturnMarch pic.twitter.com/MH62g4b1HM— Defense for Children (@DCIPalestine) July 13, 2018
The Times of Israel