Video: Israeli soldier arrested for shooting prisoner
Anne Barrowclough
An Israeli soldier has been arrested after being caught on camera shooting a 
bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoner in the foot.
In the video, the Palestinian, Ashraf Abu Rahma, 27, is seen being led, 
handcuffed and blindfolded, to a Jeep by a high ranking officer of the Israeli 
Defence Forces (IDF).
While the officer, a lieutenant-colonel, grips his arm, a second soldier aims 
his gun at Abu Rahma’s legs and fires a rubber bullet at him from about 1.5 
metres away.
The incident took place on July 7 in Ni’lin, a West Bank village which has been 
the scene of near daily demonstrations by stone-throwing protesters against the 
construction of the West Bank security fence, according to the Israeli Human 
Rights group B’Tselem, which has published the video. The demonstrator says 
that the bullet hit his left toe.
"I closed my eyes and I don’t remember anything," he told the Palestinian 
television channel that screened the video on Sunday. "It felt like my leg was 
gone." He said he had been held for about 30 minutes and had been beaten by 
soldiers before being shot. After the shooting he said he received treatment by 
an army doctor and was then released.
The video was shot by a 14 year old girl who filmed it from her house in the 
village, and sent it to B’Tselem. After the video was screened, The IDF 
launched an investigation into the conduct of the soldiers.
The Israel Defence Forcecs (IDF) said the soldier, who has not been identified, 
had been detained. "The soldier has been detained for questioning. Once the 
investigation is complete measures will be taken," an army spokesman told the 
AFP news agency.
In a statement, the Army called the incident "grave" and in "direct 
contradiction of IDF values and principles."
"Military law forbids inflicting harm on detainees and obligates soldiers to 
show them respect and ensure their safety," it said.
"Incidents when detainees are harmed are, in accordance with IDF policy, 
forwarded to the Military Police for investigation. As in this case, after 
reviewing the videotape, JAG Brig-Gen Avichai Mandelblit ordered the opening of 
a probe into the incident."
But an Israeli army spokeswoman, Avital Leibovich, added that the film raised 
several questions. She said it was "clear the images were not filmed in one 
go," adding: "Where are the missing sequences? What did they contain?"
Ms Leibovich said the man went home with an injured toe and did not file a 
complaint. The army says five border guards, three soldiers and two labourers 
working on the wall were injured during protests against the barrier in June.
Israel says the barrier is needed to stop potential attackers from infiltrating 
Israel and Jewish West Bank settlements, but Palestinians say it is a land grab 
aimed at undermining the viability of their promised state.
>From Times Online, July 21, 2008
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