JERUSALEM: Israel’s military on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of a video that has spread widely showing a soldier shoot a Palestinian along the Gaza Strip border.
It said in a statement that the Palestinian in the video was hit in the leg and wounded. The video was recorded on December 22 in the area of Kissufim near the Gaza Strip, it said.
Israeli right-wing ministers have defended the actions of the soldiers in the video in which rejoicing can also be heard after the shooting.
“Wow. What a video! Yes! That son of a bitch,” one of the voices behind the camera says in Hebrew.
Palestinians have said the video shows Gazans are being shot along the border while posing no threat to soldiers.
“The video depicts a short part of the response to a violent riot, which included rock hurling and attempts to sabotage the security fence, and lasted about two hours,” the army said.
According to the army, the video was recorded by a soldier not part of the unit that fired the shot.
“As for the unauthorised filming of an operational event, the distribution of the filmed material and the statements made there, it should be noted that these do not suit the degree of restraint expected of (Israeli) soldiers and will be dealt by commanders accordingly,” it said.
Just yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip that Israel will “hurt” them if they try to “attack” the Jewish state.
“We will not allow, here on the Gaza border, them to hurt us. We will hurt them,” he said during a visit to the southern town of Sderot.
In the face of 10 days of protests and violence along the Gaza border, Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
srael’s response to the protests has drawn international criticism, with human rights groups saying it involved live fire against demonstrators posing no immediate threat to life.
The demonstrators have revived a longstanding demand for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to towns and villages which their families fled from, or were driven out of, when the state of Israel was created.
The Israeli government has ruled out any right of return, fearing that the country would lose its Jewish majority.
Palestinian youths burnt Israeli flags and planted Palestinian banners on dirt mounds beside tented encampments as others arrived on large trucks carrying piles of more tyres to burn. Others launched stones with slingshots.