Israeli army convicts commander, soldier in shooting bound Palestinian

14:16, July 16, 2010      

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Israeli military court on Thursday handed down stiffer convictions against an army officer and soldier over shooting a rubber bullet at a bound and blindfolded Palestinian.

"The battalion commander's actions, despite his desire to protect security interests, against a person who presents no danger, cannot be considered a legal action," the military court ruled on Thursday. However, there was no word on sentencing.

In the incident, which took place during a clash in the West Bank village of Ni'lin in July, 2008, Israeli army commander Lieutenant Colonel Omri Borberg was accused of ordering staff sergeant Leonardo Corea to fire a steel-coated rubber bullet at the legs of Asraf Abu Rahme at point-blank range.

The 27-year-old Palestinian sustained minor injuries when the bullet hit one of his toes and was treated at the scene.

A cameraman with the B'tzelem Israeli human rights organization caught the event on video, in which the three are visible standing behind a jeep.

In the video, Borberg could apparently be seen gripping Abu Rahme's arm, as Corea fired at the Palestinian, who then fell to the ground. Borberg appeared to be aiding him and covering him with a blanket.

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