IDF troops filmed shoving, aiming gun at Palestinian father in front of child

Footage appears to show troops assaulting, cocking gun at man in presence of small child, whom they accused of rock-throwing in West Bank city of Hebron; IDF says probing incident

An IDF soldier aiming a gun at a Palestinian man in front of his child in Hebron, November 5, 2019. (Screenshot: Twitter)
An IDF soldier aiming a gun at a Palestinian man in front of his child in Hebron, November 5, 2019. (Screenshot: Twitter)

Israeli soldiers in Hebron were filmed Tuesday shouting and shoving a Palestinian man in front of his young child, whom they claimed had been throwing rocks at security forces nearby.

The video, which caused outrage among Palestinian social media users, shows two soldiers pushing the father and cocking a gun in his face. It is unknown who filmed the incident.

The clip begins with an angry exchange, with a soldier shouting that the boy had been throwing rocks. The father retorts: “Throwing rocks?! He’s five years old.”

The soldier responds: “Yes, throwing rocks, all your friends are throwing rocks. I don’t care [how old he is].

Another soldier joins and both shove the man, who says “don’t raise your hands on me.”

The men then appear to talk quietly to one another for several seconds, after which they start hurling curses at one another.

The troops then shove the man several more times, telling him “move on.” One of them then appears to cock his gun and aim it at the father as he walks away.

The Israel Defense Forces said the army was looking into the incident.

It is the second clip of IDF troops appearing to mistreat Palestinians to cause an uproar in recent days, after footage published Saturday showed a Border Police officer shooting a sponge-tipped bullet at a Palestinian who was walking in the opposite direction with his hands held up, apparently “as a form of dubious entertainment,” according to the judge in the case.

The incident occurred in May last year, and the female officer suspected of firing the shot was first arrested in October of that year when the footage was first discovered by prosecutors. However, the video was not aired until Saturday night, after it was leaked to Channel 13.

The sponge-tipped bullets used by Israeli security forces are generally considered a “less lethal” ammunition, as they are less likely to kill a person hit by them than standard bullets, but have still been responsible for a number of serious injuries and deaths, especially when they are aimed at a person’s head or chest.

The Border Police said in a statement that it viewed the actions of the officer “with great severity,” adding that the incident was “out of the ordinary and is not characteristic of the activities of Border Police officers in defending the security of the state and citizens of Israel.”

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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