“Kill them all”, “Beit Lehem is on fire” and “give IDF soldiers free hand to act”. Here is how the shooter from Hebron’s Facebook profile looks.
On Thursday morning an Israeli soldier was filmed shooting and killing a wounded Palestinian laying on the ground in Hebron. The shooting took place minutes after the Palestinian stabbed and wounded another soldier. The soldier was arrested shortly after and is currently under military police investigation. His actions were condemned by the IDF Chief of Staff, Defense Minister and others in the Israeli political system. At the same time, a social media campaign to release him started. On Saturday night a demonstration supporting him took place in front of a military base in Beer Sheva.
The Facebook profile of the soldier who committed the shooting, whose name is illegal to publish in Israel, gives a fascinating look into his background. It portray, to a certain extent, the life a young man from the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Ramle, 25 kilometer southeast of Tel Aviv. He has a loving girlfriend, close family, good friends and a favorite soccer team. But the profile also presents a deep rooted hatred of Palestinians, supported by family members and friends. Many of the photos posted were taken during his military service.
In June 2014 the soldier commented on a cease-fire agreement reached between Israel and Hamas during operation “Protective Edge” in Gaza. “Bibi, you faggot, what’s the deal with cease-fire? Get the hell into them!!!”. He later replied to a supporting comment saying “Yes, kill them all”.
In this post, published last October on his wall by his friend who stands with him, the caption reads: “Beit Lahem is burning. Shabat Shalom dear people. Am Israel Chai!!”.
The posts and photos present an avid supporter of Beitar Jerusalem soccer group. That team is known for having a group of extremely racist supporters. The illustration in this post, celebrating his soccer team victory over an Arab group, speaks for itself.
Comments posted by family members of the soldier might suggest his racism is not uncommon to his environment. In June last year, following posting of a video that presented a confrontation between a Palestinian and an IDF soldier, the soldier’s father, a former policeman, wrote: “In my time that junk would have been dead by now and no one would make any noise”. In a different post, on his own page, the father ranted against “lefties and Arabs nagging IDF soldiers” who won’t react “out of fear to be punished”. In another post, from June 2015, he wrote: “Give free hand to the heroes of the IDF. Who ever raise a hand – break it…Who ever throw a stone, a molotov bottle or a boobietrap, shoot to kill him”.
In October 2015 the soldier’s brother posted flags of the illegal right-wing organization Kahana, stating “we went to conquer the village”.
Update (March 29th): As days pass the campaign for the solider is gaining support. A Facebook page entitled “We all are with the solider who shot the terrorist” is now liked by more than 1400 people. It drives people to demonstrations across the country in support for him. The page also presents photos of individuals holding signs of support, including a couple on its wedding day. Other photo presents Lehava leader Bentzi Gopstein and Hebron settler’s leader Baruch Marzel holding a printed t-shirt embracing the shooter.
A video of unidentified soldiers holding signs of support in the solider was also distributed in the last few days.