Convicted in Shooting of Bound Palestinian, Israeli Soldier Temporarily Ineligible for Promotion

PNN – Palestine News Network – 27.01.11 – 13:00

Tel Aviv – PNN – Lieutenant Colonel Omri Burberg, the Israeli soldier convicted of shooting Ashraf Abu Rahma at close range while he was bound and blindfolded in the village of Ni’lin, avoided a prison term but was made temporarily ineligible for promotion by an Israeli military court on Thursday.


Lieutenant Korea (left), Abu Rahma, and Burberg. (PNN Archive)

Israeli online newspaper Ha’aretz reported that Burberg, who ordered a subordinate named Leonardo Korea to shoot Rahma in the foot from a distance of one meter, will be ineligible for a “rank upgrade” for two years and cannot serve as a commander for one. The prosecutor, Avichai Mandelbilt, saw his case for a prison sentence and demotion denied.


According to court documents, 27-year-old Abu Rahma was arrested for “disturbing the peace” on July 7, 2008, bound and blindfolded, and stood in front of a military checkpoint. Burberg asked Korea, “What do you say—should we take him aside and shoot him with a rubber [bullet]?” Korea said he had no problem, Burberg told him to load a rubber bullet, and then Korea shot Abu Rahma in the foot.

At that point, Burberg allegedly castigated Korea for shooting Abu Rahma and Korea responded that he thought he had been ordered. The discrepancy in terms—Burberg asked Korea to “prepare a rubber bullet” and Korea shot Abu Rahma—may explain Burberg’s light sentence.

A video of the shooting, once obtained by Al Jazeera TV, caused outrage in Palestine and the Arab world, especially after Burberg was released back into military service just two weeks after the shooting. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the incident was “against the morals of the Israeli army” and ordered the investigation that concluded, two and half years later, on Tuesday.

Charges against Korea had already been dropped in July 2008. Abu Rahma suffered “superficial” injuries to his left foot and is healthy.


PNN – Palestine News Network – Convicted in Shooting of Bound Palestinian, Israeli Soldier Temporarily Ineligible for Promotion.

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