June 22, 2018

Israel ministers defend soldiers appearing to rejoice in shooting Palestinian

11 April 2018, 11:25 | Simon Arnold

Israel ministers defend soldiers appearing to rejoice in shooting Palestinian

Israel ministers defend soldiers appearing to rejoice in shooting Palestinian

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in the Gaza Strip since 2009, and the most recent conflict in 2014 prompted the ICC to launch a preliminary investigation into possible war crimes.

Also on Monday, the Health Ministry in Gaza said a 45-year-old Palestinian man has died of his wounds after being shot in the legs by Israeli troops during a protest late last month.

A journalist contracted by the Norwegian Refugee Council, who was killed on April 6 during the violence along the Gaza-Israel border, has reportedly been exposed as an officer in the Hamas terrorist group.

His death brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since then to 31.

Israeli soldiers invaded, earlier on Wednesday at dawn, Azzoun town, east of Qalqilia, and Tal village, southwest of Nablus, in northern West Bank, and abducted four Palestinians.

In a statement by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), chief negotiator Dr Saeb Erekat called the video "a reflection of the cruel mentality of Israel's military occupation and the drive of its systematic shoot-to-kill policy against the Palestinian civilians". He said Murtaja had used a drone to collect intelligence on Israeli forces along the border.

Israel says it has only fired at "instigators" trying to carry out attacks.

Israel has said it has the right to defend its sovereign border, amid mounting global expressions of concern about the escalation of the past 10 days.

The army has not said if he was deliberately targeted or hit by accident.

In an official statement Tuesday the Israeli occupation army announced the action took place on December 22, 2017 and happened in the context of a "response to a violent riot", accusing the man who was standing near the border fence in no apparent act of violence of being suspected of organizing violent incidents.

But opinion roughly divided along predictable lines, with some who oppose Israel's policies toward the Palestinians expressing shock and others who are more supportive defending the shooting and dismissing the soldiers' cheers as an nearly natural release of tension. The findings of its initial inquiry came a day after video of the shooting surfaced on Israeli social networks and quickly made its way to prime-time news broadcasts on Israeli television.

The interesting thing from this response, if true, shows that the Israeli military shoots at unarmed protesters and only cares to "investigate" such incidents several months later when embarrassing video surfaces.

The military said the conduct of the censured soldiers was not what was expected of its forces, adding that they would be dealt with by their commanders.

Gazans are being called to report to the border fence this coming erev Shabbos too, for an even large event that seen in previous weeks.

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