IDF soldier threatens Palestinian

Video: IDF officer aims rifle at Palestinian civilian's head

IDF launches probe over YouTube video; army officials say incident appears to be grave

A video posted on YouTube Wednesday shows an IDF officer cocking his weapon and aiming it at the head of a Palestinian civilian during military operations in a West Bank village.


While the video does not show whether the officer's weapon was loaded, IDF officials admitted that on the face of it the incident appears to be grave, adding that a Military Police investigation has been launched.



The video, filmed last month, shows the Israeli officer yelling at Rabi Abu Maria and aiming a rifle at his head twice. The incident followed after Abu Maria's cousin was detained by IDF troops. 

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The arrest took place on June 18th and soldiers did not face resistance from local residents. Following the arrest, the suspect's relatives surrounded the soldiers and asked them for the reason of detainment. The officer shown in the video ordered them to leave, before aiming his weapon at Abu Maria.


Abu Maria recounted the incident in a conversation with Ynet: "I'm a taxi driver and I was next to a gas station. I saw my cousin who works at the station being detained, and I told the troops I only wish to say goodbye to him. The officer got upset at me and aimed his weapon at my head, saying 'why do you care, go away.'"


The Palestinian man told Ynet that since the incident he has been having trouble returning to the site and is no longer able to drive his cab. "I don't understand why they did it to me. I'm just a person who wishes to live, with a wife and four children. My wife is also scared after a weapon was aimed at her husband, and the children aren't doing too well either."


'Other officers not like that'  

Abu Maria stressed that the incident he encountered was an exception.


"There are plenty of officers who talk to us with respect and in a proper manner. I don't know why this officer behaves this way," he said.


Another local resident, Issa al-Salib, said that relatives of the detained man asked the soldiers questions but did not interrupt in their work. He too stressed that the officer's conduct was anomalous and does not characterize the behavior of other soldiers in the area.


"We've been having arguments with the soldiers, but they don't end like that," he said. "He's not normal, there's something wrong with him. He's overcome by hatred. This soldier's behavior is known as particularly provocative, and ever since he arrived in the area two months ago we suffer greatly."


On Friday, local residents are planning to hold a protest at the entrance to their village following the soldier's conduct. "The army can't give such person arms and authority at such a sensitive location," al-Salib said.


Responding to the incident, the IDF Spokesman's Office issued the following statement: "On the face of it, it appears to be a grave incident. This incident was brought to the attention of commanders, and at the same time it was decided to launch a Military police investigation into it."


Roi Kais contributed to the article



פרסום ראשון: 07.20.11, 19:25
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