Israeli troops avoid jail in Palestinian shooting
JERUSALEM – An Israeli military court on Thursday sentenced two soldiers convicted in the close-range shooting of a bound and blindfolded Palestinian man, but spared them jail time.
Lt. Col. Omri Borberg, caught on video holding the arm of Ashraf Abu Rahmeh while he was shot with a rubber-coated bullet, cannot be promoted for the next two years, or command troops for one year, the military said.
The sergeant who pulled the trigger has completed his military service, but was demoted to private.
"That is not a conviction — its nothing," Abu Rahmeh said after the sentencing. "I really thought both would be punished, but with deep sorrow the court has ruled in their favor."
Emerging from the courtroom, Borberg said he accepted the sentence — and that he never told the soldier to shoot.
Abu Rahmeh was shot in the foot in July 2008 in the West Bank village of Naalin. He was detained by Israeli troops after protesting against Israel's West Bank separation barrier.
A relative of Abu Rahmeh said the family would appeal the sentence.