Israeli soldiers bind Palestinian man to vehicle as 'human shield' in West Bank raid

Israeli soldiers bind Palestinian man to vehicle as 'human shield' in West Bank raid
Footage shows a wounded Palestinian man being tied to the hood of an Israeli military vehicle during a raid on the town of Wadi Burqin.
3 min read
23 June, 2024
Israeli forces have previously been accused of using Palestinians as human shields [Getty]

Footage of an injured Palestinian tied to an Israeli military vehicle by troops has circulated online, raising further concerns about abuses by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories.

During an Israeli raid in the northern West Bank town of Wadi Burqin on Thursday, Israeli forces claimed that a Palestinian man who was wanted for detention was shot after attempting to shoot at the soldiers. 

The man, identified by Reuters as Mujahid Azmi, was later seen being restrained on the hood of a vehicle while severely injured. 

The Israeli army acknowledged the incident, saying that that "conduct seen in the video is not consistent with the [Israeli forces] orders and what is expected of its soldiers". 

It added that the "incident is being investigated and will be dealt with accordingly". 

However, eyewitnesses quoted by Palestinian news agency WAFA said Israeli forces were aggressive and trigger happy throughout the raid, with  two young men shot and wounded by them in the Al-Jabariyat neighbourhood after surrounding a house. 

WAFA reported that after residents were ordered via speakerphone to surrender by the Israeli soldiers, the men were subsequently targeted. 

It also described Israeli forces as having used "extensive military reinforcements," including conducting a thorough search operation across the neighbourhood and deploying snipers on rooftops.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported that troops initially blocked emergency crews from entering the raided area. 

PRCS stated that the military “placed the injured person on the front of a military jeep and detained him before later allowing our crews to transfer him to the hospital”. 

Observers accused the Israeli army of using the man as a  "human shield"  — a tactic that has been seen in previous raids by the military.

“This isn’t exceptional for the Israeli military they’ve done this historically and even used children in this way as they carried out military offensives on Palestinian towns,”  said Palestinian-American journalist Mariam Barghouti in a post on X. 

In May 2023, Palestinan rights groups accused Israeli forces of using children as human shields in raids

In May, Defense for Children International Palestine accused Israeli troops of using three Palestinian children as human shields during raids on the Tulkarm refugee camp. In all three incidents, Israeli forces allegedly forced the children to walk in front of Israeli army vehicles as they conducted raids.

Also on Saturday, an Israeli was also shot dead in another northern West Bank town, Qalqilya.

The Israeli army said the man was pronounced dead after being shot and that troops were currently operating in the area.  

Violence, which was already flaring due to the increased building of settlements and Israeli military raids, has massively escalated in the occupied West Bank since the devastating war on Gaza erupted last October. 

Since then, at least 549 Palestinians in the territory have been killed by Israeli forces and settler attacks, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, which tracks the killings. 

Agencies also contributed to this report