JERUSALEM (AP) – An Israeli soldier who shot and killed a Palestinian fisherman near the Gaza border in 2018 received 45 days of community service after an army investigation concluded he fired without authorization, the army said Thursday.
Nawaf al-Attar, a 23-year-old fisherman, was killed by Israeli fire near the northern border of the beach on November 14, 2018, when the army said the shooting occurred.
It happened a few hours after a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militiamen came into effect, after a brief round of fighting. On those days there were weekly protests near the bay that often turned violent, but there were no protests that day.
The military said the soldier reached a settlement in which he pleaded guilty to the charges of negligence and reckless danger. He received a suspended sentence and was demoted to the rank of corporal.
Elsewhere, Jordan’s foreign minister made an unannounced visit to the West Bank on Thursday to “deliver a message” to the Palestinian president, as Israel plans to annex parts of the territory.
Both Jordan and the Palestinians oppose the Israeli plan. The Jordanian Foreign Ministry says that Ayman al-Safadi’s visit to Ramallah “is carried out within the framework of continuous coordination and consultation” between them on the subject.
On Wednesday, a senior Emirati official warned that Israel’s planned annexation could lead Arab states to call for a single binational state for Israelis and Palestinians, rather than the two-state solution.
Backed by the Donald Trump government, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the strategic Jordan Valley. Such a unilateral move would wipe out Palestinian hopes of establishing a viable independent state.
Israel snatched the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war and has built dozens of settlements that are now home to nearly 500,000 Israelis. Palestinians want such territory as the heart of their future state. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal by many in the international community.
Jordan, which is one of the two Arab nations that has made peace with Israel, has been especially alarmed. It borders Israel to the east and is home to a large Palestinian population.
This week, King Abdullah II of Jordan voiced his concerns to the American leadership, warning that any unilateral Israeli move in the West Bank would be unacceptable and “undermine the prospects for achieving peace and stability in the region,” according to an official statement.