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VIDEO: Sniper shoots and kills a man while he searches rubble for relatives (UPDATED)

A video making the rounds on social media shows a Palestinian man getting shot and killed by a sniper while he is searching for lost relatives in the rubble of his Shuja’iyah home. Shuja’iyah has been under intense Israeli bombardment for more than a day, with harrowing stories and images reported by the international media. Journalists have reported seeing bodies strewn on the street, often entire families —parents and children—shot down as they were running away.

In this particular video, a Palestinian man accompanies a group of rescue volunteers back to the neighborhood during a lull in the bombardment. He is looking for his family, which has not been heard from since the intense bombardment of the neighborhood, located in eastern Gaza City, began on Saturday. At first he stands against a wall on the street, calling out their names. But when there is no response he scrambles on to the pile of rubble that used to be his home. At that point there is a shot that makes them pause, followed by silence. Then, just as one of the female volunteers says, “I’m scared,” there is the sudden crack of another shot and the young man flops down, wounded but not dead.

The man is still alive, moving his arms and murmuring the Shihada, the Muslim affirmation of faith (“there is no God but God,” similar to the Jewish Shema or “Hear O Israel”), when the sniper shoots him once more. And then again. In the background, one can hear the foreign volunteers shouting into a mobile phone, “But what the fuck should we do? They’re going to shoot us all if we move.”

UPDATE: The New York Times reports that the dead man’s name is Salem Khaleel Shamaly. He was 23 years old. His family—which, unbeknownst to him, had evacuated the area and were staying with a relative—learned of his death when they saw the video on television. He was their only son.

It’s almost unbearable to watch. What’s going on in Gaza right now is just pure barbarism. Shelling hospitals, shooting at ambulances and killing the drivers, shooting journalists, shooting at children playing soccer on the beach or feeding birds on a roof — and deliberately murdering a young man as he scrambles in the rubble of his home to find surviving relatives.

Palestinian human rights leader: ‘Cast Lead was a joke compared to this’
PHOTOS: Scenes of devastation from deadliest day in Gaza
WATCH: Dozens of bodies strewn in the streets of Gaza
Gaza war diary: ‘A second of silence, then the bombs go off’

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    1. Amir

      Apparently Israeli propagandists will complain about the use of the word ‘sniper’ cause it somehow proves its a fake video, should just replace it with ‘rifleman’, or ‘marksman’.

      Reply to Comment
      • Maad

        Here’s the standard Israeli spin to such situations.
        1- He was killed in the crossfire. If that doesn’t work, then try
        2- He was killed by Arab fire. And if all else fails, say,
        3- He killed himself to make Israel look bad.

        Reply to Comment
      • Sonnenuhr

        It is fake, the guy is supposed to be shot three times and has no bullet wounds or blood visible on him. You can also tell that the video was badly edited as the man in the Hamas colored shirt is shot then is 6 feet away on the concert scattered ground. Another Pallywood production.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      Nothing left to say. I’ll leave it to the next Goldstone committee to comment on this and scores of other events that clearly show Israeli war crimes in their most visceral.

      I truly hope that this time there will be arrest warrants issued (but I’m not holding my breath).

      Reply to Comment
    3. Fab yech

      Could this video look anymore fake and staged? Maybe some sweet tomato sauce on his shirt.

      Reply to Comment
      • HAB

        You’re dumb as shit, dude.

        Reply to Comment
        • Brian W

          If this is real, and I believe it is, it’s horrible. I don’t understand why people can’t live and let others live. That man had no weapon, his crime?? F#kn psychos with machine guns… There’s plenty on both sides I know… Lots here in the U S too… I pray for peace on this planet…just a dream….

          Reply to Comment
    4. Elisabeth

      The response to this from the usual crowd here will be something like this:

      The guy walks in the middle of a combat zone … Hamas people dress up as women … there are several seconds cut out … he must’ve been doing something threatening … it was probably a Palestinian who shot him … Pallywood…

      Have fun!

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        Well, Liz, you were right – SonnyBoy showed up to play the role of “Those photos of the gas chambers look fake” neo-Nazi Holocaust revisionist, applied to the current conflict.

        Can Arb and John W. be far behind?
        C’mon, fascists, don’t be shy…

        Reply to Comment
    5. sceptic

      i find it troubling that you are reporting a heavily edited video, put out by an expressly political organization and coming out of a war situation where propaganda is widely used by both sides as if it is a verified, credible source.

      if ISM wants credibility, they should release the unedited video, so we can see the entire process. as it stands there is nothing credible about this, and it’s sad to see it accepted at face value given the current situation

      this is activism, not journalism, but that line seems to be getting blurred…

      Reply to Comment
      • You’re delusional if you think in the middle of a fucking slaughter that someone in Gaza thought let’s get some tomato sauce and stage another murder while the idf aren’t looking. Are you demented? You really think with all the murder going on in Gaza that people think they need to act it out? Fucken troll.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Ben Zakkai

      Where does one begin with folks who claim that scenes like these are staged? Do they think that after hundreds of Gazans have been murdered and thousands more horribly injured, often on camera, that there’s any need to fabricate additional, shocking video footage? Do they think that bullet wounds immediately spurt blood, like in the movies? Sorry guys, M16 rounds are small-caliber, they make very small entry wounds but are designed to tumble around afterwards and rip you apart inside. Alternatively, do they think that Gazans are clever enough to stage fake IDF murders but too stupid to smear a little ketchup on the victim’s shirt? I know we’re not supposed to compare Israelis to Nazis, but this phenomenon of crying “Pallywood!” inevitably recalls Holocaust denial.

      Reply to Comment
      • Achmed al Dufus

        Ben, could you possibly show me any small entry wounds on Mr Green Shirt? How did he die, did a bullet pierce his heart for example? Or did he get shot in the head? The only sign of blood on his body is on his hand and he applies that himself 2:28-2:34. There may not have to be pools of blood but yeah, there should be some blood, even if just a bit, seeping into his clothing around the entry wound. Maybe you can point it out to me.

        Reply to Comment
    7. Avdim

      How do you know it was one sniper? Maybe there were three snipers taking turns? Maybe there were five snipers and two missed? Maybe there was an entire platoon of evil Zionist “toy soldiers” that were laughing while they fired?

      Regarding the Pallywood accusation. Yes, it gets thrown a lot but not entirely unjustly. There were enough videos COMPLETELY fabricated and enough edited beyond recognition to arouse suspicion.

      This has nothing to do with Holocaust denial and you need to have a fetish for Holocaust to automatically compare anything with it or its denial. There’s enough Holocaust denial going on on Hamas and PA TV without you comparing a claim about a video to it as well.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Seraphya

      Why is there an assumption that it was an Israeli soldier, let alone an Israeli sniper shot this man?

      Israeli soldiers have died and been injured in friendly fire, as well as civilians who have been caught in the crossfire.

      The stupidity in lack of forward planning and thinking about what they are doing is incredible. It reminds me of hikers who go on challenging hikes without the proper training, clothing or food and water. Usually things end up fine, but sometimes people die of hypothermia, dehydration or from what should have been minor injuries. They walked in casually to an active zone of fighting it seems without notifying either of the sides or with any plan of what do if the situation changes. It really does remind me of hikers who hike up a mountain with rapidly changing weather in shorts and a t-shirt without looking at a weather report or thinking about being prepared for the situation which can and does rapidly change. Unlike the other volunteers, he wasn’t even wearing a reflective vest. The lack of planning of what do if they come under fire or get stuck in the middle of a firefight is baffling and made obvious in the discussion in the video. If they had a plan, they might have been able to save his life. I don’t know what might have been a better idea, besides the obvious of not going into this area until the active fire zone moves a few blocks more blocks away and with a better plan, but this was not smart. Maybe they could have run to protect him (not in the direction of the gun fire) with their hands on their heads screaming that they are unarmed civilians. Maybe that is a bad idea, I as untrained person in this area don’t know how to act in this situation, just like I don’t know what to do if attacked by a bear or a shark. If I were going into a situation like this or into an area with lots of grizzly bears, I would certainly make sure I knew what to do.

      In a way, I don’t blame the man for his lack of thinking, he is extremely worried about his family (which should have moved out with through the per-defined humanitarian corridors, and maybe they did, but he doesn’t know that?), but the foreign volunteers have to take some of the blame for this, weather it was Hamas or the IDF that shot him. They had no idea what they were doing, but this man thought it was (relatively) safe to do what he was doing because he was going to the area with people who portrayed themselves as well trained and prepared with their reflective vests, but were in fact not trained on how to approach search and rescue in a war zone.

      This man’s death is a tragedy, but the ISM has to take some of the blame and rethink its policies and methods.

      As for the beginning of the video with the ambulance, there was no reason to include that with this other footage, its just a set-up to try to get you in a frame of mind to be ready to accept the rest of the narrative without question. There are already many video accounts of ambulances being used to transport uninjured militants, which is in contravention of international law; at that point the ambulances become legitimate targets. Despite this, the IDF usually refrains from firing on ambulances that have turned into illegal troops carriers. In close ground combat, I would think that the soldiers would not risk their lives in those cases.

      Some of those videos (from the last few days, and past):

      Reply to Comment
    9. Ish

      It looks quite real but however we should not judge for people asking for unedited footage. There are some discrepancies with positioning against landmarks so I am taking the view that the jury is out on this, for now…

      If unedited footage proves true then maybe this could be the catalyst for Israel to issue an apology and analyse it’s actions, bringing the soldier responsible to account for his/their actions with a public court martial.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Masouda

      If you think this is fake then look at all the other children Israel has killed in this conflict that there is us no doubt in as the whole witnesses to, except those who support Israel. Any one who support Israel is a supporter of war crimes against the Palestinians. Palestine is the largest open air prison. Israel has occupied Palestinians and committing the same crime that was done to them durring Nazi times. Any one who can not see that has no heart or conscious.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Fakefakefake

      The green shirted man goes from standing next to the camera man (watch his green sleeve at 2:20. He’s next to the camera man that whole time) to laying in rubble a few yards away in a matter of seconds.

      Unless he teleported, this is fake. This shot is EXACTLY the same in the 15 minute raw footage video that the NY Times released. Why is the news not covering the fact that this video is completely staged?

      Reply to Comment
    12. Scott

      There is clearly not a mark on this guy, after three shots land? After the first shot, why have no people in the background gone for cover? And why is his hand still clearly moving after the supposed third shot? Three shots supposedly fired from who knows where, and the people filming don’t move at all? This appears fake.

      Reply to Comment
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