Israel's military chief has issued a memo to soldiers reinforcing the army's code of honor in the wake of a controversial West Bank shooting incident of a Palestinian attacker.

The Palestinian man was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier as he lay wounded on the ground. The shooting, which came amid six months of near-daily Palestinian attacks, has divided Israelis.

The soldier was arrested after an initial inquiry concluded he acted improperly but protesters and right-wing politicians have come to his defense and accused the army of abandoning him.

Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot's dispatch on Wednesday stresses Israel's "purity of arms" code of conduct.

Eisenkot reaffirmed the military would continue to support any soldier who errs in battle but will also punish those who stray from its moral code.