Israel praised the sniper who was filmed shooting a Palestinian youth on the Gaza border but pledged disciplinary action over the leaked video of the incident.
The 81-second clip surfaced on social media on Monday and led Israeli TV news, with one host calling it “disturbing.” Its release followed a surge in Palestinian protests at the Gaza border in which 30 demonstrators have been killed by the army.
In a statement summarizing a preliminary investigation, the military spokesman said the incident took place took place on Dec. 22, amid Palestinian unrest at U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
The Palestinian who was shot was suspected of organizing a “riot, which included rock hurling and attempts to sabotage the security fence, and lasted about two hours,” the statement said.
The sniper fired at him once, wounding him in the leg, after warnings shots and orders to disperse went unheeded, it said, adding that the video was taken by a soldier from another unit.
It was not clear how many soldiers might face disciplinary action, nor how harsh it might be. In the video, a voice can be heard saying, “Yes! Son of a bitch!” as the Palestinian, who appears to be standing motionless near the fence, is shot.
Remarking on the video on Tuesday, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters: “The Gaza sniper deserves a decoration, and the photographer a demerit.”—Reuters