A photograph of a child caught in the crosshairs of a sniper’s rifle posted to photo-sharing website Instagram has begun stirring controversy on the Internet.
The photo, taken January 25 and posted by 20-year-old soldier Mor Ostrovski on his private account, shows the view through a scope of a rifle aiming at the head of a young boy in what appears to be an Arab village. The photograph was taken down on Saturday.
Palestinian blogger Ali Abunimah, founder of the Electronic Intifada website, wrote a blog on the photo on Friday, describing it as “tasteless and dehumanizing.”
“It embodies the idea that Palestinian children are targets,” wrote Abunimah.
The picture drew a slew of negative comments on Ostrovski’s account, which appeared to be inactive as of Saturday morning, including several death threats.
Other photos on Ostrovski’s account showed him posing with his rifle.
Similar outrage ensued in 2010 after a female reserve soldier named Eden Abergil posted pictures of herself posing next to handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees on social networking site Facebook.
Following the Abergil incident, the IDF said it would crack down on soldiers posting offensive and humiliating photos on social networking sites.
The IDF did not respond when asked to comment on the photo, but as of Saturday, the image had been taken down.