This video was posted on the Facebook page of the Israeli news website 0404.co.il.
It is yet another example of Israeli occupation forces recording their violence against Palestinians, and the Israeli public celebrating it.
The video has emerged just as the Israeli government announced it would use snipers against Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem as well as against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Human rights defenders are condemning the move, saying it will lead to more deaths and violence.
The video shows an Israeli soldier aiming a rifle at a Palestinian after the youth has thrown two stones towards something out of the frame of the video.
The soldiers are plainly not in any danger: the youth is far away and the stones were not thrown towards them.
At the moment the shot is fired, the Palestinian is standing still, leaning against a wall and clearly no conceivable threat to anyone.
He is apparently hit in the leg and falls to the ground, but manages to get up and run off.
The incident appears to be in the West Bank, but it is unclear when it took place. The video emerged on 19 September.
The status accompanying it says: “This is the only way it will work. You throw a rock? You get a bullet. Share it, friends!”
The post has been shared more than 3,000 times and hundreds of comments express sadistic joy at the sight of soldiers shooting a Palestinian who has no rights because he lives under military rule.
A common complaint is that the youth was not shot in the head or heart and killed outright.
“I’m proud of our warriors!” declares Angela Vainer. “What fun to see such a video,” writes Maria Kogan.
“Well done!!! Next time, hit the testicles,” suggests Karin Kazav.
“The Israel Police will be expanding their use of firearms against stone-throwers in the south of the country, as authorities struggle to contend with the rise of riots and violence,” Israeli daily Haaretz reported Monday.
“Legal and police sources say that the decisions on how to deal with stone-throwers in Jerusalem will also be applied to rioters in the south, particularly those who throw stones at vehicles,” it adds.
What Israel describes as “riots and violence” Palestinians see as a reaction to the relentless theft of their land, not just in the West Bank but also in the southern Naqab (Negev) region where Bedouins – who are nominally Israeli citizens – face forced removal to make way for Jewish towns.
“Police will now be allowed to use the Ruger .22-caliber rifles, which are generally not lethal,” Haaretz states. “They will be used only in cases where stone-throwers pose a risk to passengers in vehicles, and perpetrators will be shot only in the legs.”
Contrary to these claims, the US-made .22-caliber rifle is absolutely lethal to humans and the use of such weapons has been documented in several mass killings in other countries.
Condemning the decision to expand their use, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem notes that since the beginning of the year three Palestinians have been killed by .22-caliber bullets “during stone-throwing incidents in which members of the security forces were not in mortal danger.”
Four more Palestinians, two minors, were killed by “ordinary” live ammunition shot by occupation forces in similar incidents.
B’Tselem points out that these are seven of 20 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the beginning of the year.
Dozens more Palestinians have been injured by live fire.
Israel’s policy of shooting Palestinians frequently causes devastating and lifelong injuries even when it does not kill.
Restrictions on the use of live fire to “mortal danger” situations exist only on paper.
“Experience gained through monitoring [.22] use in the West Bank shows that the restrictions placed on using this type of ammunition get eroded over time, and the result is a constant expansion of the [.22] use,” B’Tselem says.
Snipers routinely fire .22 bullets at Palestinians “in circumstances that are far removed from those in which the open-fire regulations permit the use of live ammunition.”
Israeli soldiers “have little difficulty getting authorization to shoot at stone-throwers, even when the latter pose no danger to the troops,” B’Tselem adds.
Israeli police claimed that stone-throwing preceded what they called a “self-inflicted accident” in occupied East Jerusalem last week that killed an elderly Israeli driver who lost control of his car and smashed into a pole.
But even the police acknowledged that they were not sure. The incident has nonetheless led to loud calls from Israeli politicians for more violence against Palestinians.
B’Tselem says that extending the live fire policy from the occupied West Bank into present-day Israel contradicts the recommendations of the official inquiry into the October 2000 police massacre of 13 Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Those killings exemplified the lethally unequal treatment the self-declared Jewish state metes out to its non-Jewish citizens.
The sniper policy is indeed explicitly racist, as Haaretz reveals: “The security discussions about stone-throwers have not addressed protests in Tel Aviv, where demonstrators often throw stones at policemen, nor ultra-Orthodox protests against the draft or desecration of Shabbat, which often result in policemen being wounded by stones.”
In January 2014, for instance, a video published by B’Tselem documented the Israeli army actually accompanying and protecting Jewish settlers as they attacked Palestinians in the West Bank village of Urif with stones.
Dena Shunra provided additional research and translation.