A senior Israeli army officer in Hebron has admitted that Israel Defence Forces (IDF) troops have committed numerous field executions in the West Bank, Quds Net has reported. Lieutenant Colonel Eliyahu Libman made his comments during a court hearing on Sunday during the trial of an IDF soldier accused of murdering Abdel Fattah Al-Sharif a few months ago.
Libman was at the scene when the IDF's Sergeant Elor Azaria shot Sharif in an incident caught on camera and shared subsequently on social media. According to the senior officer, he has seen many examples whereby IDF troops have fired at Palestinians in order to "neutralise" them, or shot would-be bombers in the head to ensure that they could not explode a suicide belt. This, he claimed, is more or less routine and none of the soldiers who committed such acts were ever brought to trial.
Lt Col Libman denied a statement attributed to him following Sharif's execution, in which he is alleged to have said that it was wrong to shoot the Palestinian. He insisted that he did not say this to anyone, not even to Israel's former defence minister Moshe Ya'alon.