A scene of shocking brutality on the part of the Israeli Army emerged yesterday, in a video filmed by a Palestinian teenager. The amateur footage shows an Israeli soldier firing a rubber bullet at a Palestinian protestor barely a metre away. According to the NGO who got hold of the video, Israeli authorities then tried to cover up the blunder.
The incident happened in the town of Nilin, northwest of Jerusalem, around two weeks ago. The victim, Palestinian protestor Ashraf Abu Rahman, 27, was demonstrating against the construction of the West Bank barrier, which will cut off his village from its farm land. Bound and blindfolded, he was shot in the foot with a rubber bullet, but later released. After the video was made public, the soldier responsible was arrested for interrogation by the Israeli police. The Observers is publishing accounts from a senior member the NGO who collected and published the video, B'Tselem, and the young Palestinians who filmed the confrontation.
Sarit Michaeli runs the communication department of the NGO B'Tselem
This film is extremely important because it shows that the Israeli Army is used to covering up this kind of thing. There was a lieutenant there when the bullet was fired! These kinds of bullets shouldn't be fired at a distance below 14 metres because they can be fatal. But as we can see, without this video, no enquiry would have been opened.
This is the first video we've seen with the Israeli Army committing a blunder [see the videos here]. The videos we've released so far have shown settlers being violent."
Salam Jamal Kanaan, 17, filmed the scene from her balcony. Her brother, Mohammed Kanaan, took hold of the camera after the gunshot.