Israeli soldier shoots dead injured Palestinian youth as he lies incapacitated on ground after alleged stabbing attack in West Bank
Graphic video footage has emerged that shows an Israeli soldier shooting dead a wounded, immobilised Palestinian man as he lay injured on the ground after an alleged knife attack in the West Bank city of Hebron earlier in the day.
Amateur footage shows the man, named as Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, lying in the street as medical workers treat an Israeli soldier who had reportedly suffered minor injuries after being stabbed.
Other Israeli soldiers can be seen surrounding Mr al-Sharif, who can be seen moving his head as he lies sprawled on his back. One of the soldiers is then seen raising his gun and shooting Mr al-Sharif in the head, before blood is seen pouring from his wound.
Mr al-Sharif and another Palestinian man, Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, had already reportedly been shot after allegedly stabbing a solider in Tel Rumeida, in the Hebron area of the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
According to reports, both men died. A second video posted online suggests that the other suspect, al-Qasrawi, was also shot in the head.
According to Ma’an news agency, the soldier was removed from the scene to receive treatment for moderate injuries.
Hebron, divided into Israeli-controlled and Palestinian-controlled areas, regularly sees clashes between residents, police and the security forces.
The incident on Thursday morning is the latest example Israeli-Palestinian violence which has been escalating since October.
A spokesperson from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told The Independent: “The IDF views this incident as a grave breach of IDF values, conduct and standards of military operations.
“A Military Police investigation has commenced and the soldier involved has been detained.”
According to Ma’an, a witness said: “I heard gunshots, went outside my house to check what it was, and saw several Israeli soldiers yelling and two youths on the ground. A soldier approached one of the youths that was moving while yelling and opened fire at him from zero range.”
Responding to the video, Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International, said the shooting could amount to a war crime.
"The shooting of a wounded and incapacitated person, even if they have been involved in an attack, has absolutely no justification and must be prosecuted as a potential war crime."
“Israeli forces have a long history of carrying out unlawful killings – including extrajudicial executions – in the Occupied Palestinian Territories with impunity. Amnesty International has documented a number of similar cases during the upsurge in violence that began in October," said Mr Luther.
“While it is encouraging that the soldier in the video has reportedly been suspended and placed under investigation, previous Israeli investigations have failed to hold members of the Israeli forces accountable even when there has been clear evidence of criminal wrongdoing."
Mr Luther added: "The Israeli authorities must use this opportunity to end the culture of impunity that has made such killings increasingly commonplace.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has previously voiced “deep concern over reports of excessive use of force by Israeli forces”.
In December 2015, Cecile Pouilly said: “All instances of the use of force resulting in death or injury by law enforcement officers should be the subject of prompt, independent and impartial investigations.”
She called “on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to act decisively to de-escalate the situation”.
Independent and agencies
Independent News Service