Video shows Israeli soldier shooting at arrested man

July 21st, 2008 - 3:17 am ICT by IANS  

DPA
Jerusalem, July 21 (DPA) Footage released Sunday by a rights group showed an Israeli soldier firing what appeared at be a rubber coated bullet at a handcuffed Palestinian who was arrested during a protest. The video, published by the Israeli organization B’tselem, was filmed July 7 by a 14-year-old Palestinian school girl during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nil’in against the building of Israel’s separation barrier.

In the clip, the man, Ashraf Abu Rahma, aged 27, is seen standing, blindfolded and handcuffed, next to a military jeep. A soldier takes aim, checks it twice, and then apparently fires at the Palestinian’s foot from a very close distance.

Abu Rahma said he suffered a light injury to his toe.

According to B’tselem, an officer seen holding Abu Rahma’s hand while he was injured was a lieutenant colonel, and the organization demanded an investigation be opened into his role and that the soldier who fired “be brought to justice”.

“The IDF rules of conduct clearly forbid any harm against those in its custody and are committed to human dignity and safety of all detainees,” the Israeli military said in a statement, referring to itself by its initials.

Major Avital Leibovitz, a military spokeswoman, told DPA that the military advocate general opened an investigation into the incident.

“But there are questions about the edited parts,” Leibovitz said, referring to the point in the amateur clip, right after the shooting, where there is a stoppage. The clip then continues what appears to be a few moments later with Abu Rahma laying on the ground.

B’tselem’s spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli said the girl had accidentally stopped filming when she was startled by the gunshot and resumed when she became aware of she had pressed the stop button.

Palestinians, together with Israeli and foreign activists, protest weekly in the village Nil’in against the barrier, which they say will separate the residents from much of their agricultural land.
DPA

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