A screen shot from a video showing the shooting of a Palestinian civilian on July 20, in Shajya, Gaza.


In this video, filmed on Sunday in Gaza, a group of humanitarian workers and Palestinian civilians are targeted by what appears to be a sniper. The attack, which was filmed in its entirety, resulted in the death of a Palestinian man. According to the testimonies collected by FRANCE 24, the group was trying to find survivors from an Israeli army bombing attack which had taken place just a few hours beforehand.

Warning: these images may shock viewers

Filmed by Mohammed Abedullah, and posted on YouTube by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

This video was filmed by Palestinian activist Mohammed Abedullah in Shejaya. Sixty-seven Palestinians were killed on Sunday when the Israeli army bombed this neighbourhood. The death toll for this day alone reached at least 100 Palestinians, making it the bloodiest day since the beginning of the current operation in Gaza.

It was a dark day for the Israeli army as well: with 13 soldiers killed, the number of deaths in the Israeli Defense Forces has now reached 18. It is the highest death toll the army has experienced since the 2006 war in Lebanon.

“No one could help him – the risk of coming under fire was too high”

Rina Andolini, a British activist based in Gaza, was there when the shots were fired. She told her version of the story, firstly via her Facebook page on Sunday afternoon, and later on to FRANCE 24. According to the young woman, the man shown in the video wearing a green t-shirt, and the people with him, were taking advantage of the Israeli army-approved two-hour ceasefire (from 13:30 to 15:30), to search for victims among the ruins of Shejaya. She said the shorts were fired before 15:30, or in other words, while the humanitarian truce was still in effect. According to a BBC team in Gaza, the shots were fired less than one hour after the beginning of the truce. And according to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian NGO, the aid teams seen in these images started working in the area only once the ceasefire had been declared.

When we arrived here, among this field of ruins, the young man [in green] was looking for members of his family. We decided to help him.

We were aware of the danger, but we were also concerned with a lot of things: finding his family, avoiding the damaged buildings which could collapse, and watching out for any Israeli forces, which had been present in the area just a few hours earlier.

When the first shots were fired, I was next to Mohammed, the person who filmed the video [Editor’s Note: He too responded to FRANCE 24’s questions, and confirmed Rina Andolini's version of events], and the young man. The first shot rang out while we were crossing an open area – we were very visible. So, the group separated into two.

I was on one side with Mohammed, and the three volunteers from ISM were on the other. In the middle was the young man, in full view of the sniper. The second shot hit his hand, and he fell to the ground. It was 15:27.

No one could help him – the risk of coming under fire was too high. A few seconds later, the sniper shot twice more and killed the young man.”

After being accused for this attack, the Israeli army, when questioned by FRANCE 24, stated that “following the example of other armies around the world, the Israeli ground forces use snipers to kill their enemies.” The spokesperson, however, noted that “no proof permits us to confirm the authenticity of this video. The army will make an inquiry into this to determine what happened. For the time being, it is not in a position to comment.”

While Operation Protective Edge continues in the Gaza strip, to date the violence has killed nearly 600 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian health authorities, and 29 Israelis, according to the Israeli army. This makes for the highest death toll since the Israeli army's last ground operation in the Palestinian territories in the winter of 2008-2009.


Post written wtih FRANCE 24 journalist Grégoire Remund (
@gregoireremund) and translated by Laura Morris.