By Middle East Affairs
A video showing an Israeli army sniper shooting a motionless Palestinian across the border in Gaza to cheers from his colleague has the Israeli military investigating the incident, Reuters reports.
The video went viral online and later made its way to Israeli television news. It shows a view through a lens or viewfinder of a person in the distance, across the border, alone and standing still. The person is shot and falls to the ground.
“Wow, what a video! Yes! Son of a bitch! What a video. Here, run to evacuate him,” a voice says in Hebrew. People begin running toward the person who was shot.
The video is released as Palestinians have been protesting near the Gaza-Israel border for more than a week in the planned six-week “Great March of Return.”
Israeli troops were ordered to prioritize that no one cross the border or damage the fence, which has led to 30 civilian deaths as Israeli forces are shooting protesters they deem too near. Reuters said Israeli officials have declined to specify exact distances that Palestinians must remain away from the fence. Protest camps have been set up a few hundred meters away, but large groups of protesters are drawing nearer, burning tires and holding up mirrors to hinder the sight of Israeli troops.
This video is raising criticism and newscasters called it “disturbing,” according to Reuters, but the Israeli military is saying the clip might have been filmed months ago.
Either way, the military is investigating the incident. Reuters was unable to verify the video’s source and authenticity.