An Israeli military court has sentenced a soldier to one month in jail over the killing of a Palestinian teenager after he opened fire without authorisation, the army said Wednesday.
The unnamed soldier was convicted Monday for “acting without authorisation in a manner endangering to life and well-being”, it said in a statement.
Othman Rami Halles, 15, was shot dead during protests on the Israel-Gaza border on July 13, 2018, the Palestinian health ministry said at the time.
The army said a probe had found that “the soldier fired at a Palestinian rioter who was climbing on the security fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip”.
The soldier, identified in Israeli media as a sniper, had opened fire “not in accordance with the rules of engagement and not in accordance with the instructions he had received”, it said.
After a plea bargain, the court sentenced the soldier to 30 days in prison with military labour and a suspended term of another 60 days, and he was demoted.
The investigation had found no evidence of a “causal link between the soldier’s fire” and the teenager’s death, the army said.
At least 311 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since protests were launched along the border of the Israeli-blockaded enclave in March 2018, the majority during the demonstrations and clashes.
Eight Israelis have been killed in Gaza-related violence over the same period.
A former British soldier charged with murdering two civilians in the 1972 Bloody Sunday killings faces an initial court hearing on Wednesday.
The emblematic case is being heard in Londonderry, the city where the killings took place, and is highly divisive in a province haunted by the legacy of conflict.
British troops opened fire on a civil rights demonstration in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry on January 30, 1972 killing 13 people.
A 14th victim later died of his wounds.
The day has become one of the most symbolic in the grim history of the Troubles — the sectarian unrest which gripped the British province of Northern Ireland.
In addition to two murder charges, the ex-paratrooper, identified only as “Soldier F”, faces charges of the attempted murder of four others.
But he will not be present during the first day of proceedings in Londonderry, where security is likely to be high.
“Soldier F” was one of 17 British veterans who had faced investigation, plus two alleged Irish Republican Army (IRA) paramilitaries.
But he was the only one charged by Northern Ireland’s public prosecutor in March following decades of investigation hampered
The announcement infuriated supporters of Britain’s military intervention in Northern Ireland, prompting marches in support of the soldier in Belfast and London.
‘Truth and justice’
British military and political communities remain divided over the matter.
Some believe prosecutions for historic crimes betray former troops who acted in good faith, equating them with terrorists.
Others feel the military should be held to the highest standard and any amnesty would be a tacit admission of guilt among those who served with integrity.
Families of those killed in Bloody Sunday — who have campaigned for prosecutions for nearly 50 years — broadly welcomed the trial but do not believe it alone will fully settle the matter.
“It’s still an ongoing campaign,” John Kelly — whose 17-year-old brother Michael was killed on Bloody Sunday — told AFP last month.
“What people want is truth and justice.”
The British Parachute Regiment opening fire on a civil rights march in the majority Catholic area of the Bogside in Derry helped galvanise support for the Provisional IRA early in the Troubles.
A photograph of a Catholic priest waving a bloodstained handkerchief as he tried to help 17-year-old victim Jackie Duddy to safety became a defining image of the incident.
A 12-year public inquiry into Bloody Sunday — the largest investigation in UK legal history — concluded in 2010 that British paratroopers lost control and none of the casualties posed a threat of causing death or serious injury.
The probe prompted then-prime minister David Cameron to issue a formal state apology for the killings, calling them “unjustified and unjustifiable”.
The Northern Ireland Veterans Association, which held a memorial event to mark the 50th anniversary of British military intervention earlier this year, said its members were “concerned” about such prosecutions.
“We need to learn to deal with our past,” said NIVA spokesman Ian Simpson.
“We need to move forward together and have an understanding of what it meant.”
The security operative, who was said to be riding a motorcycle alongside other vehicles, had been stopped at the intersection by the traffic light when the truck hit him.
An eyewitness told Channels Television that a female who was on the motorcycle with the soldier escaped death as she jumped off the bike before the truck dragged the motorcycle towards a culvert where the victim was slammed.
The female passenger, who was said to also be a soldier, immediately called some of their colleagues from 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta, who hurriedly came to evacuate the remains of the deceased.
The driver of the truck was reported to have abandoned the truck and bolted from the scene for fear of being lynched by angry mob.
Another eyewitness who was at the scene of the accident said there was panic in the area as residents and motorists feared military officers may unleash terror in the area.
The spokesman for the Ogun Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), Babatunde Akinbiyi, confirmed the incident.
He also said the remains of the deceased have been taken to the morgue at State General Hospital, Ijaye.
The Nigerian soldier who was alleged to have raped a student of the Ondo State-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, on Wednesday appeared before a family court in Akure, the state capital.
The suspect, Lance Corporal Sunday Adelola from the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, based in Akure, was said to have committed the crime on July 31, 2019.
On the said day, he was said to have ordered the victim out of a passenger vehicle at a military checkpoint while travelling from Akungba to Ikare – Akoko, and dragged her into a nearby cubicle where he allegedly raped her.
Following the incident, there had been series of petitions and protests by students and authorities of the university, condemning the act.
The Ondo State Government, as well as human right groups also intervened, calling for justice on the crime.
Subsequently, he was found guilty and dismissed from the service after the army authorities set up a panel of investigation on the matter.
He was thereafter, handed over to the police for prosecution.
Those present at the family court for the trial on Wednesday were students of the university, officials of the Ondo State Ministry of Justice and Women Affairs; and members of the state chapter of the Federation of Women Lawyers.
The case was, however, adjourned till Friday, August 16, 2019, in order to allow the suspect file a response to the suit, and also get a legal representation.
A soldier was killed on Monday when some members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) stormed a military location in Baga town in Borno State.
The Chief of Military Public Information with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Colonel Timothy Antigha, confirmed this in a statement.
He also said five other soldiers sustained varying injuries and have been evaluated for medical attention.
Colonel Antigha, however, noted that troops killed 10 of the insurgents, including four suicide bombers as they responded swiftly to the attack.
“What was meant to be a surprise dawn attack on Multinational Joint Task Force and national troops this morning became a nightmare for the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), as 10 of its terrorists met their waterloo in Baga,” he said.
He added, “Specifically, at about 5:30 am this morning, ISWAP terrorists numbering about 30 infested troops defensive locality.
“However, vigilant troops spotted their approach and promptly thwarted what could have been an audacious assault.”
Troops have killed seven suspected armed bandits in Aljumana Fulani and Ketere villages in Zamfara State.
A statement by the acting Information Officer of Operation Sharan Daji (OPSD), Major Clement Abiade, revealed that the success was recorded by own troops and those deployed in Operation Harbin Kunama III of the Nigerian Army.
Major Abiade added that the troops killed the criminals in a fierce encounter that ensued while on clearance operation in the area on Thursday.
He said the operation was successfully carried out in conjunction with the Nigerian Army Deep Blue Special Forces, the Nigerian Air Force Component, and local vigilantes.
He noted, however, that one soldier was killed while six others and a vigilante member sustained various degrees of injuries during the operation.
The OPSD spokesman disclosed that the bandits were armed with sophisticated automatic weapons but conquered by the superior firepower of the troops.
He noted that some of the bandits fled with gunshot wounds, abandoning their camp and logistics which were destroyed by the troops.
Major Abiade said troops also arrested three suspected informants who furtively provide information to armed bandits during a separate sting operation at Kara market in Shinkafi Local Government Area of the state.
They recovered 934 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition, one AK 47 rifle, one steel chain used by bandits to restrain kidnapped victims, and seven motorcycles.
A senior non-commissioned officer of the Nigerian Army has been confirmed dead.
Headquarters 3 Division of the Army announced this in a statement on Thursday by its acting Deputy Director of Public Relations, Major Ikechukwu Eze.
The officer was said to have died on Tuesday, a few days after returning from Kogi State where he went for his father’s burial.
He was initially admitted and managed for resistant malaria at the 3 Division Hospital but there was no significant improvement.
This resulted in his referral to Bingham University Teaching Hospital (Jankwano) in Jos, the Plateau State capital for further management.
“Unfortunately, the soldier died on 15 January 2019, four days after his case was reported,” the statement said. “Available medical information confirmed that the soldier may have died of Lassa fever.”
The Division added that an investigation was ongoing to unravel all circumstances that led to the soldier’s death while some measures have been taken to contain the spread of the disease.
It said it has commenced Contact Tracing and Monitoring for both primary and secondary contacts in collaboration with representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO), medical personnel of Bingham University Teaching Hospital and 3 Division Medical Services and Hospital.
According to the statement, sensitisation for residents of Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, the host community and the general public has also begun.
“The General Officer Commanding has further directed that the entire Maxwell Khobe Cantonment be fumigated,” it added.
Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole succeeded in neutralising four Boko Haram terrorists and recovered weapons from them, an operation would have passed as smooth but for one soldier who paid the supreme price during the encounter.
According to a statement released on Monday by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, the terrorists came at about 5.00pm on Sunday to attack Maibukarti village along Maiduguri-Damboa road when they were engaged by the gallant troops.
Usman stated that the items recovered include 4 AK-47 rifles, 45 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 5 AK-47 rifles magazine, 2 Motorcycles, and 1 bicycle.
Others are 1 Bandolier, 1 GSM handset, 3 SIM cards, an earpiece, some phone accessories, kola nuts, gloves, and drugs.
The exploitation continues in conjunction with CJTF.
The Defence spokesman explained that following the attack, troops were further reinforced and went on hot pursuit of the fleeing terrorists, while the Nigerian Air Forces provided close air support.
Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi was released from prison Sunday after serving eight months for slapping two Israeli soldiers, an episode captured on video that made her a symbol of resistance for Palestinians.
Tamimi, 17, and her mother Nariman arrived in their village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank, where they were met by crowds of supporters and journalists.
“The resistance continues until the fall of the occupation, and of course the (female) prisoners in jail are all strong,” Ahed Tamimi said, her voice barely audible above the crowd.
“I thank everyone who supported me in this sentence and supports all the prisoners.”
Her father Bassem put his arms around Ahed and her mother as they walked together along the road, the crowd chanting “we want to live in freedom”.
Tamimi later visited the tomb of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah and laid flowers there, before meeting Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Abbas “praised Ahed and described her as a model of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, independence and statehood,” according to a statement on official news agency WAFA.
“He stressed that non-violent resistance which Ahed embodies has proven to be an ideal and vital weapon in facing the repression of the Israeli occupation.”
‘Jailing of a child’
Israeli authorities appeared keen to avoid media coverage of the release as much as possible, and conflicting information had meant supporters and journalists scrambled to arrive on time at the correct location.
Tamimi and her mother had been driven early on Sunday from Israel’s Sharon prison into the occupied West Bank, authorities said.
But the location of the checkpoint where they were to cross into the territory was changed three times before it was finally announced they were being taken to a crossing at Rantis, about an hour’s drive from the initial location.
Family members and supporters gathered at the checkpoint to greet them, but the military vehicles driving them did not stop, instead continuing towards Nabi Saleh.
There had been slight tension at the checkpoint before Tamimi’s arrival as a few men with Israeli flags approached supporters holding Palestinian flags. Words were exchanged but there was no violence.
In a sign of the sensitivity of the case, Israeli authorities on Saturday arrested two Italians and a Palestinian for painting Tamimi’s now-familiar image on the Israeli separation wall cutting off the West Bank.
Both Tamimi and her mother were sentenced to eight months in an Israeli military court following a plea deal over the December incident, which the family said took place in their garden in Nabi Saleh.
They were released some three weeks early, a common practice by Israeli authorities due to overcrowded prisons, Tamimi’s lawyer Gaby Lasky said.
Video of the December incident went viral, leading Palestinians to view her as a hero standing up to Israel’s occupation.
But for Israelis, Tamimi is being used by her activist family as a pawn in staged provocations.
They point to a series of previous such incidents involving her, with older pictures of her confronting soldiers shared widely online.
Many Israelis also praised the restraint of the soldiers, who remained calm throughout, though others said her actions merited a tougher response.
Rights activists condemned Tamimi’s jailing.
Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch tweeted on Sunday that “Israel’s jailing of a child for 8 months — for calling for protests & slapping a soldier — reflects endemic discrimination, absence of due process & ill-treatment of kids.”
“Ahed Tamimi is free, but 100s of Palestinian children remain locked up with little attention on their cases,” he said.
Tamimi was arrested in the early hours of December 19, four days after the incident in the video. She was 16 at the time.
Her mother Nariman was also arrested, as was her cousin Nour, who was freed in March.
Israel’s military said the soldiers had been in the area on the day of the incident to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones at Israeli motorists.
The video shows the cousins approaching two soldiers and telling them to leave, before shoving, kicking and slapping them.
Ahed Tamimi is the most aggressive of the two in the video.
The heavily armed soldiers do not respond in the face of what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.
They then move backwards after Nariman Tamimi becomes involved.
The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Relatives say that a member of the Tamimi family was wounded in the head by a rubber bullet fired during those protests.