January 20, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israel Defense Forces said on Wednesday that they have discharged a soldier who was involved in a raid on a West Bank Hamas cell, during which an elderly Palestinian civilian was killed.

The IDF raided Hebron earlier this month in order to re-arrest five Hamas members that the Palestinian Authority had released only the day before.

The man who was killed during the raid, Amr Qawasme, age 65, was reportedly asleep when soldiers broke into his home before dawn. His wife, Sobheye, said IDF troops brushed past her into the bedroom, where she heard several shots fired. When she went in, she found her husband in a pool of blood.

According to the IDF, one of the soldiers in the mission fired on Qawasme "following a suspicious movement that caused the soldier to feel that his life was threatened."

An investigation into the incident found that while this soldier fired "in accordance with IDF rules of engagement," a second soldier who followed the first one's lead and also began firing at Qawasme had acted "unprofessionally", and was thus discharged from his IDF service.

The IDF concluded the statement by saying they "deeply regret the death of Amr Qawasme."


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