In Disregard for Justice: Israeli Soldier, Killer of Palestinian Child, Receives One Month Prison Sentence


Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, October 30, 2019

On 28 October 2019, an Israeli Military court convicted an Israeli soldier of disobeying orders that resulted in the death of a Palestinian child in Gaza while participating in the Great March of Return (GMR) protests last year.  The court sentenced the soldier to one month in prison to be served through military-related labor.

This conviction is the first of its kind since the outbreak of GMR protests on 30 March 2018 and reflects a clear disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians.  It also emphasizes the Israeli judiciary’s role in providing a legal cover for the war crimes and serious violations committed by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against Palestinian civilians.

According to PCHR’s investigations, on 13 July 2018, ‘Othman Rami Jawad Helles (15) from Gaza was participating in the GMR protests in al-Shija’iyah neighborhood, east of Gaza City.  A video went viral on social media from the scene and it showed an unarmed child, Helles, climbing the border fence when an Israeli sniper shot him with a bullet, which entered his chest and exited through the back, killing him immediately.  It should be noted that Helles posed no imminent threat to the lives of the Israeli soldiers when he was shot…