Palestinian struck with Israeli soldier's rifle in Hebron, as other kneels on neck

Palestinian struck with Israeli soldier's rifle in Hebron, as other kneels on neck
Footage of the incident from early June depicts a Palestinian man being struck with the bottom of an Israeli soldier's rifle in Hebron.
3 min read
17 June, 2021
Video of the incident was provided to B'Tselem [ALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty-file photo]

Footage of a Palestinian being struck with an Israeli soldier's rifle in Hebron has been released, which shows another troop kneeling on the man's neck.

It is claimed by the Israeli army that the Palestinian man was behaving aggressively during an inspection, who then allegedly reached for one of the soldiers' firearms, Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

The video still indicates that certain soldiers present had violated military policy during the detention of the Palestinian with another soldier kneeling on the man's neck.

The incident reportedly occurred in the occupied city of Hebron in the West Bank at the start of June.

The footage captured also depicts multiple Israeli settlers dispersing nearby Palestinians.

In addition, a settler is shown using pepper spray against Palestinians.

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The video was provided to B'Tselem, an Israeli NGO that posted it on YouTube, including by Hebron Human Rights Defenders.

Local Palestinian Araf Jaber said that during the encounter one Palestinian launched a glass bottle at the soldiers.

This prompted an Israeli troop to shoot into the air as a colleague pointed a rifle towards Palestinians, among them children.

Jaber, who said he is the detained man's brother, claimed: "The police were at the scene, but didn’t do anything against the settlers who had sprayed us with pepper spray".

He said his sibling was held for six days and then let go with a bond of 3,000 shekels, roughly equal to $920.

The Israeli army alleged to Haaretz that the detained man had tugged at a soldier's weapon and ripped its strap.

Following this, the army claimed: "the combat soldiers arrested him through the use of force due to the detainee's unruly behavior and resistance."

The army further asserted: "A violent disturbance of the peace developed on the part of several Palestinian residents, including the throwing of glass bottles and stone-throwing at the force".

"At a certain stage, security personnel from the sector were also present and they assisted the force to prevent an escalation of the incident.

"In the footage, in the course of the incident, some of the soldiers are seen acting not in accordance with the rules, which were [subsequently] made clear to all of the forces in the sector."

Israeli soldiers and police are commonly subject to allegations of brutality and abuse against Palestinian civilians.

In late May, an Israeli police officer was suspended after shooting a Palestinian child in the back in Sheikh Jarrah, occupied East Jerusalem.

This decision was made after a video of the 19 May episode surfaced.

The girl and her father had been complying with orders to go back to their property when the shot was fired.

Haaretz said the officer did not aim.

It was not immediately clear if there has yet been a final outcome to the suspension, given the justice ministry investigation.