The soldier who fired at Yassin al-Saradih, a Palestinian who tried to attack IDF soldiers last week during an operation in Jericho, has told IDF investigators that he was feeling threatened by the situation. The incident is still being investigated after new video footage of it emerged on Wednesday.

The new video footage of the Jericho incident
Photo and video credit: B’Tselem

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As the IDF and the Palestinian Authority continue to quarrel over the circumstances of a Palestinian assailant’s death last week during a confrontation with Israeli soldiers in Jericho, details from the IDF’s inquiry into the incident were published by the Israeli media on Wednesday.

The soldier who fired a shot at Yassin al-Saradih has told army investigators that he felt threatened. “It felt like a life-threatening situation,” he reportedly said. “A Palestinian with a pointy metal pipe was running toward me. I proceeded to perform the arrest procedure. He fell down and then other troops came and we got him under control. We found a knife in his underwear.”

Another soldier who took part in the incident confirmed that the soldiers were feeling threatened by Saradih, but said he did not hear a gunshot being fired. “We were treating him as a terrorist, not as an innocent civilian,” he said. “We had no doubt that he was running toward us with the intent of hurting us.”

The soldier added that Saradih resisted arrest and kept yelling and cursing at the soldiers during their attempts to neutralize him. “It was difficult to get him under control so we had to use reasonable force,” he said. “We’re talking minutes here. The conditions weren’t sterile. In real time, this was a very quick incident. It took maybe 2-3 minutes. I didn’t see the shooting itself but I did not see a gunfire wound (on the suspect) either.”