This video shows Israeli soldiers brutally beating and taunting a Palestinian man near Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Friday.
It was broadcast by the Palestine Public Broadcasting Corporation and has been shared widely on social media.
According to Al Jazeera Arabic, the victim of the attack, Shadi al-Ghobashi, had come out of his home in the refugee camp to tell the soldiers to stop firing tear gas that was causing suffering to his family, including his children.
Occupation forces were reportedly using tear gas to suppress protests by local youths against Israeli land theft in the area.
Blows and obscenities
The video shows three Israeli soldiers confronting al-Ghobashi as he speaks to them. One of them strikes him with his rifle. Al-Ghobashi, unafraid, raises his arms to defend himself. The soldiers begin shoving him and shouting obscenities at him in Arabic and Hebrew.
A soldier begins to kick him. The situation seems to calm down momentarily, but then one of the soldiers runs at al-Ghobashi, striking him and shouting more obscenities as al-Ghobashi raises his arms in self-defense.
The soldiers repeatedly shout at him to “shut up” and “don’t touch anyone.”
“One more word and I’ll fuck up your mother,” a soldier shouts.
Al-Ghobashi then walks away and that might have been the end of it. But the soldiers go after him, continuing to shout at him that he is a “son of a whore.”
This angers al-Ghobashi, who turns around, wags his finger and responds, “you are the son of a whore, you understand?”
The video then shows no fewer than six soldiers kicking and beating the man, even as he lays on the ground with his head bleeding. One soldier smashes him on the head with a rifle.
As they attack al-Ghobashi and handcuff him, the sound of tear gas grenades or gunfire can be heard in the background. The video then shows the soldiers leading al-Ghobashi away.
Some of the perpetrators of the attack have their faces covered. One repeatedly calls another by the first name Menachem.
The attackers also appear to be aware that their deeds are being recorded. As the half dozen soldiers attack al-Ghobashi, a voice can be heard shouting in Hebrew, “There are soldiers, there are soldiers! Get the photographers away! Get the photographers away!”
Israeli media has identified the soldiers as belonging to the Netzah Yehuda Battalion – a religious unit from the Israeli army’s Kfir Brigade.
The Israeli army has acknowledged the incident, but offered justifications, claiming that the soldiers had earlier been pelted with rocks.
“Those [soldiers] involved in the incident were summoned to meet with the brigade commander [Sunday] morning for a clarification and debriefing of the event,” an army spokesperson told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “If need be, disciplinary action will be taken against them. From a preliminary probe it seems their behavior does not befit that expected of an IDF [Israeli army] soldier.”
With thanks to Dena Shunra for assistance with Hebrew translation.