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VIDEO: Israeli soldier executes unarmed, wounded Palestinian attacker

Maybe even worse than the murder itself is the fact that no one in the vicinity seems at all moved by it.

WARNING: This post contains a highly graphic video and images.

An IDF soldier is seen seconds before shooting a wounded Palestinian man in the head. (Screenshot/B’Tselem)

An IDF soldier is seen seconds before shooting a wounded Palestinian man in the head. (Screenshot/B’Tselem)

An IDF soldier was filmed shooting a Palestinian in the head at close range in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of occupied Hebron Thursday, after he and another Palestinian reportedly stabbed a different soldier, lightly wounding him.

Most Israeli media outlets initially went with the usual headline, “Soldier stabbed, assailants killed.” A few hours later, however, video of the incident was released showing that the Palestinian man was already shot and lying on the ground wounded, presenting absolutely no threat to anyone at the time he was shot in the head, murdered.

The video was captured by local Palestinian resident Emad abu-Shamsiyah and distributed by B’Tselem.

Minutes earlier, before the start of the video, the two young Palestinian men, Abed al Fatah a-Sharif and Ramzi al-Qasrawi, reportedly stabbed a soldier in the Hebron neighborhood. They were shot in the aftermath of the stabbing.

In the video, which begins only after the stabbing already took place, an Israeli soldier can be seen shooting the injured Sharif in the head as he lies on the ground. The soldier is facing the camera with Sharif in between.

In a separate video we have deemed too graphic to upload, a prominent settler from Hebron can be heard telling soldiers, “this dog is still alive.”

No one in the vicinity seems bothered or surprised at all by the shooting — neither the soldiers nor a couple of police officers present nor the medical teams seen treating the wounded soldier. They completely ignore the two wounded Palestinians (al-Qasrawi is lying several feet behind a-Sharif, and can be seen at the end of the video). This total apathy reflects not only the regularity of such incidents of stabbings and responsive shootings, but also the culture of impunity in which IDF soldiers feel free to shoot and kill Palestinians against the IDF’s own rules of engagement.

The Israeli military immediately sought to distance itself from the murder. Israeli security forces have been accused by Palestinians and others of unnecessarily killing Palestinian stabbing suspects since the latest wave of violence began. Israel has consistently denied the practice, although senior ministers have in recent years given what many interpreted as a green light to killing suspected terrorists.

In October 2015, video footage show Fadi Alloun, a young Palestinian man from East Jerusalem, being shot and killed by police officers despite not appearing to pose an immediate threat. In November, two Palestinian girls were shot after stabbing an elderly man with scissors. In response to that incident, IDF Chief of General Staff Gadi Eizencot said he doesn’t want Israeli soldiers to “empty a [rifle] magazine into a girl with scissors.”

The IDF Spokesperson issued the following statement: “An initial investigation shows that this is a severe incident that contradicts the IDF’s ethical code and what is expected from the IDF’s soldiers and commanders. A military police investigation has been opened following the findings of the initial investigation that was carried out by the commanders. The soldier has been suspended from his position until the culmination of the investigation.”

Update: Military police arrested the soldier, and high ranking officers ordered that all other soldiers who were in the vicinity at the time of the shooting should also be investigated.

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    1. Carmen

      Of course this kind of action has no effect at all on the bystanders – they most likely insisted on it happening.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Bruce Gould

      Richard Falk, former UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, writes “you can’t report truthfully on Israel without facing its wrath” (warning: this is one them A-rab websites):

      https://electronicintifada.net/content/you-cant-report-truthfully-israel-without-facing-its-wrath/15131

      “When I met with Makarim Wibisono in Geneva shortly after his appointment as special rapporteur was announced, he told me confidently that he had been assured that if he accepted the appointment the Israeli government would allow him entry…I warned him then that even someone who leaned far to the Israeli side politically would find it impossible to avoid reaching the conclusion that Israel was guilty of severe violations of international humanitarian law and of human rights standards, and this kind of honesty was sure to anger the Israelis.”

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ben

      The most moral army in the world, eh? That no one around seems the least bit bothered or gives any indication that this is anything but normal procedure is telling. In a normal army, with minimal ethical standards and a command responsibility ethic, the officers who let this happen and who then stood by and did nothing would be punished as severely as the shooter himself. How high up the chain does one go? Anything less than court martial on a murder charge will be telling too. Of course every bit of it, including the name of that “prominent settler,” that civilian, that mensch, that paragon, will be under strict military censorship. Security, you know. And it won’t do to have defense counsel offering an “everybody does it, why are you scapegoating him?” defense in open court will it? Or how about The Bennett Defense: “I’ve killed lots of Arabs. Nothing wrong with that.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        One more thing. Moshe Ya’alon keeps things like “It is forbidden for us to forget our humanity and get out of control just because our blood boils.” But this was a cold blooded even casual execution. Nobody’s blood was “boiling.” It was done with a methodical, perfunctory, even casual air. No one around looked twice or stopped what they were doing. Moshe Ya’alon, Defense Minister, I think you have more than military discipline problems. You have a much deeper problem.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Let’s try to clarify this. The video shows a man lying alone and unattended to in the road, his arms and legs spread, still, obviously no threat to anyone, then two soldiers coming together and gesturing and conversing with one another, and the soldier to the right makes a gesture with his arm towards the other soldier’s weapon. Their respective ranks can’t be known but the impression is of an order given, from right to left. The soldier to the left then makes a movement that looks like a raising and cocking of his weapon, and he directly approaches the man lying in the road (and all the while this soldier looks to me like a man following direct orders) and shoots the man lying spreadeagled in the road (in the head).

          Reply to Comment
    4. Bruce Gould

      UN Envoy: 2-State Israel-Palestinian Solution in Peril: The U.N.’s top Mideast envoy warned Thursday that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “is slipping through our fingers” as a result of Israel’s settlement-building and confiscation of Palestinian land, and the lack of Palestinian unity…”that building more walls, administrative detentions, punitive demolitions and movement restrictions all breed anger among people who feel they are being collectively humiliated, punished and discriminated against.”

      http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/envoy-state-israel-palestinian-solution-peril-37899700

      Welcome to the one state solution, as Tom Friedman has pointed out.

      Reply to Comment
    5. British Citizen

      I could not believed what I seen, I always believed that the Israeli Army are just as professional as the British, the Palestinian claimed that the Israeli army kill Palestinian then put a knife next to their body, I never beloved them, now I do, if this is the Policy of the IDF then I can tell you bibles showed us that states like this has been destroyed and vanished by God for their bad deeds so it looks like Israel days are numbers. what moves the is that no one shoed any ramose towards what happen as they have seen it or done it before and they have a green light from the IDF. before we judge let see what Israel will do to the murderers and their complacent

      Reply to Comment
    6. Czar

      This is so obviously fake. Notice, that the man on the ground is not moving in the beginning of the video and is most likely dead. After the van moves out of the way, the man on the ground is in exactly the same position as he was in the beginning of the video despite allegedly being shot. And on top of that no one on the scene is startled by the sound of the gunshot. Someone has done a lousy job of editing in the sound of a cocking rifle and a gunshot. And don’t get me started on the man’s arm that “moves” just the van blocks most of the man’s body. This is obviously done to make the video editing easier. It would have been harder for the computer graphics to work when the whole body was in full view. You can’t be THAT desperate to embarrass the Jews. Someone has just reached a new low. And I do mean a low. And for those who commented on this article, are you this easily manipulated?

      Reply to Comment
      • Carmen

        This is not the complete video which was about 3 minutes long. He was alive. At about :20 he is on the ground and moves his head from side to side, with his brains very much in his skull. At about 1:52 the shooter cocks his weapon and fires at very close range. This is not the first execution of a Palestinian who was incapacitated and no longer posed a threat. This is a war crime. Your insistence that it is fake is your problem and on your conscience. Thank God this video was made. This is an attempt to shed light on the daily injustice meted out by the zionist state. You calling it an attempt to “embarrass the Jews” is fucking ridiculous; the zionists do that every time they open their mouths (“If Belgians continue to eat chocolate and enjoy life, they won’t be able to fight. Europe and the United States would not define that the war is against Islamic terrorism. When your definition is wrong and doesn’t exist, you can’t lead a global war. If Belgians keep eating chocolate and enjoy life and look like great democrats and liberals, and not decide [sic] that some of the Muslims there organize terrorism, they won’t be able to find them”. Israel Katz, “Intelligence” and atomic energy minister). BTW, “The Jews” aren’t committing war crimes. The zionist state is. These criminals call themselves Jews. They do not in any stretch of the imagination embody “the Jews”. Stop with the confabulation already, it’s old, it’s stupid and the only people who believe it are people like yourselves and I doubt even you believe your own hasbara. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8WK2TgruMo&feature=player_embedded

        Reply to Comment
    7. Punisher

      Maybe he thought he was a suicide bomber Very common in ME

      Reply to Comment
      • Leffe

        In Europe too.

        Reply to Comment
      • Goya

        If you think someone’s a suicide bomber (with either a dead man’s trigger or a remote detonator), you don’t stand around casually and you definitely don’t shoot them.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Jim Click

      Surgeon General Warning: If you stab a heavily armed soldier you will be shot and likely killed.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Sharron

      If these two are attacking soldiers, then the are are enemy combatants, soldiers of an opposing force. This is a battle field. In a war, you can get killed. It is not the responsibility of the soldiers on the side of the soldier being stabbed to arrest and give a fair trial to the attackers.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Ben

      The Israeli papers are reporting that the initial investigation determined that the IDF soldier who executed the Palestinian man “acted alone.” A number of questions arise. Does any soldier in this kind of situation truly act alone? Officers are said to be “surprised” by the soldier’s action. No one in the video looks the least bit surprised. (And no one, with their air of ease, looks the least bit vigilant about the predictable “explosives vest” scenario bandied about.) The video evidence strongly suggests there was at least passive complicity by all military and medical personnel at the scene. The officers, going up the chain, have command responsibility: responsibility for not controlling their troops, and more basically responsibility for creating a climate in which this happened. This is at the very least, and on the face of it, a severe breakdown in military discipline. And medical practice. But many signs would suggest this was not simply a breakdown at all, but was derivative of the “normal” situation in regards to the Israeli army’s habitual practice in the West Bank. It will not suffice to blame this on one “rogue” soldier, one “bad apple.” Or one lapse in judgment. Or one bad platoon. Or bad company or bad brigade. This goes up to GOC Central Command, continues on to the Chief of Staff and then to the Defense Minister and directly to the Prime Minister (who characteristically was not quick to respond). But the buck does not stop there. It stops with Israeli society. To the masses of Israelis who actively or passively support the status quo.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Ida G Millman

      After watching this three times, I did not SEE what happened although I heard the shot.

      Reply to Comment
      • Carmen

        It doesn’t matter really matter what you didn’t see Ms. Millman, the murderer confessed to executing the wounded man lying on the ground, claiming, ridiculously, he was afraid he had explosives. Nobody appeared to be afraid of anything and his kill was perfectly timed with an ambulance covering the victim, but not the shooter, who was readily identified.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        It beggars belief that that soldier came in, just walked up and shot the man in the head without an officer on the scene giving him approval verbally or with a nod. No way. The Israeli army has basic problems with rogue soldiers just doing what they feel like right in front of their commanding officers and the officers passively stand around and do nothing? Silverstein is alleging otherwise and he’s giving specifics:
        http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2016/03/26/breaking-identities-of-idf-soldier-who-executed-unarmed-palestinian-and-his-commanding-officer-exposed/

        Reply to Comment
    12. David Sherman

      Things aren’t what people presume. The audio confirms that the soldiers were concerned that the Arab was wearing a suicide vest and was about to detonate it as he was still moving. So he was acting to protect the Israelis in shooting someone who quite possibly was about to blow them all up. See:

      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/209896#.VvdYfHApBFT

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Absolutely not. All personnel there, including highly experienced officers, were completely relaxed and obviously had already ruled out the possibility that the militant was booby trapped. It was obvious that the wounded man on the ground posed no danger to anyone. He had already been searched for that by a commander. (This is already confirmed fact, but to suppose otherwise, as you are doing, by the way, is to make out the soldiers there to be complete blooming idiots–“Oh, let’s all stand around and yak on the phone around a guy who might be booby trapped before we check. Sure. And then let’s shoot at a vest full of explosives. While all of us are standing there.” Like Darwin Award winners. Not gonna fly. Not even a little.) The soldier who executed the wounded man, had he truly thought the guy might possibly be wired for explosives, would, as I am sure he was trained to do, have shouted to immediately take cover/clear the area/etc. Certainly not leisurely walk up and shoot at explosives and stand around. And even after he killed him he would have done the same, immediately cleared the area. He did not. His actions both before and after the shot was fired are absolutely inconsistent with a real fear of explosives. (Another video records the killer instead standing around nonchalantly smiling and shaking hands with none other than the Kahanist Baruch Marzel while the body of the guy he cold bloodedly
        executed is being removed from the scene.)

        Reply to Comment
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