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Haaretz: Officer to Pay for Killing West Bank Teen

By Fadi Eyadat

The Hadera Magistrate’s Court has ordered an Israel Defense Forces officer and the Defense Ministry to pay NIS 500,000 to a Palestinian family after the officer killed their 16-year-old son in 2002.

The officer, Captain Tzvi Koretzky, who was convicted of negligent homicide by a military court, shot and killed Mohammed Zayid of the West Bank village of Nazlat Zeid.

Koretzky thought Zeid and a relative standing next to him were egging on dozens of boys who were throwing stones at the vehicles carrying troops who had entered the village in October 2002 following a terror warning of a car bomb.

Koretzky ordered the two boys to go into their house, which they did. The crowd of boys remained at the scene. Koretzky fired one bullet toward Zayid’s home, which struck and killed the teen, who was in the living room.

The state claimed in Koretzky’s defense that his actions constituted an “act of war” which grants immunity even if the soldier was negligent. However, Judge Sabri Mohssin ruled that the IDF initiated the action in order to locate a car bomb, and shooting at the house was not directly connected to the search for the bomb. Therefore, the fatal shooting could not be construed as an “act of war.”

The court determined that the soldiers had options that could have prevented Zayid’s death and, therefore, the state should not be absolved of its responsibility to the family.