After an Israeli rights group released footage that appears to show a soldier shoot a Palestinian detainee, Israel says it has launched an inquiry. Though when the gun fires the video is blurred, the Palestinian man says a rubber bullet hit his left big toe, and he was treated by an army medic.
The incident is called “grave” and in “direct contradiction” of the army’s values, by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
It occured on 7 July, in the West Bank, said rights group B’Tselem. It added that in the video clip, a soldier is showed firing rubber-coated steel bullet, from close range, at a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainee.
When the shooting took place, a lieutenant colonel was present, holding the Palestinian man’s arm when the shot was fired.
From the window of her home, in the town of Ni’lin, which has been the scene of violent protests against Israel’s West Bank barrier, a 14-year-old girl filmed the incident
Rights group said it received the tape on Sunday and forwarded a copy to the Military Police Investigation Unit, demanding an inquiry.
Investigation under way
Local media quoted the Palestinian Ashraf Abu Rahman as saying that “during the demonstration the soldiers caught me, arrested me – and after a few moments I heard shots and felt a fire in my body. I was afraid and didn’t know what it was”.
“I closed my eyes and I don’t remember anything. It felt like my leg was gone”, the 27-year-old said.
“Military law forbids inflicting harm on detainees and obligates soldiers to show them respect and ensure their safety”, said the IDF in a statement published in the Jerusalem Post.
In accordance with its policy, said the IDF, the footage had been reviewed by a senior official, and an investigation was under way.
Although critics say the West Bank barrier is a calculated effort to annex occupied land, the Israeli government says that the structure is a security measure in order to prevent suicide bombers.
In the 1967 war, Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have settled in the West Bank, and it keeps a large military presence there.
Judge by yourself, here is the video :