The Southern Command court on Tuesday acquitted Israel Defense Forces Captain "R" of all charges relating to the killing of a Palestinian girl in the Gaza Strip in October 2004.
The case received wide-spread media attention when R was suspected of "confirming the kill" and shooting the girl multiple times once she had already been hit by IDF gunfire and was lying on the ground.
R's defense attorneys, Yoav Meni and Elad Eisenberg, succeeded in finding contradictions in testimony provided by the prosecution's witnesses during the trial.
The witnesses, Givati Brigade soldiers from R's company, said they lied during the military probe of the incident and in statements they provided the court in an effort the cause the ousting of R from the company.
Understand, this barbarian was acquitted of the murder of a 13-year old Palestinian girl because of misstatements by his own troops. The act of emptying machine gun rounds into her body was exonerated as proper procedure, "a known IDF practice employed to eliminate immediate threats."
The Guardian has a transcript of the IDF radio communication from that day:
The tape recording is of a three-way conversation between the army watchtower, the army post's operations room and the captain, who was a company commander.
The soldier in the watchtower radioed his colleagues after he saw Iman: "It's a little girl. She's running defensively eastward."
Operations room: "Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?"
Watchtower: "A girl of about 10, she's behind the embankment, scared to death."
A few minutes later, Iman is shot in the leg from one of the army posts.
The watchtower: "I think that one of the positions took her out."
The company commander then moves in as Iman lies wounded and helpless.
Captain R: "I and another soldier ... are going in a little nearer, forward, to confirm the kill ... Receive a situation report. We fired and killed her ... I also confirmed the kill. Over."
Witnesses described how the captain shot Iman twice in the head, walked away, turned back and fired a stream of bullets into her body. Doctors at Rafah's hospital said she had been shot at least 17 times.
On the tape, the company commander then "clarifies" why he killed Iman: "This is commander. Anything that's mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it's a three-year-old, needs to be killed. Over."
Ayman's family responds to the acquittal:
Ayman's uncle Abu Jihad Salman told Ynet the decision was "cruel, but not surprising."
"The Israeli and Zionist enemy are a group of infidels, so what is there to expect? Can infidels be expected to have humanity…? The answer is no," Abu Jihad said.
"Everything is in the hands of Allah. Everything is from Allah and Allah is the one who will bring us justice," he added.
Why should the Palestinians have any faith in legal and political processes when this is repeatedly the result? Should we be shocked when one of Ayman's brothers, cousins, or uncles turns himself into a bomb?
Ending the occupation will not magically end the violence between Israelis and Palestinians, but it is a key prerequisite. Never before has an occupied people been required to ensure the security of their occupier, as the Palestinians are, and I think by now it's clear that the very idea is preposterous. Sharon and other hardliners well know this, and their clear intention is to forestall negotiations, to maintain the violence at an acceptable level while they consolidate major settlement blocks around Jerusalem and in key water-rich areas of the West Bank. And Americans are helping pay for it.