Israeli Army Vows Disciplinary Action Over Gaza Sniper Video
Israel pledged disciplinary action on Tuesday over a soldier’s leaked video showing an army sniper targeting a Palestinian across the Gaza border fence to profane praise from an onlooker, but deemed the shooting itself to have been exemplary.
The 81-second clip surfaced on social media on Monday and led Israeli TV news, with one host calling it “disturbing.”
In a statement summarizing a preliminary investigation, the military spokesman said the incident took place on Dec. 22, amid Palestinian unrest following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The Palestinian who was shot was suspected of organizing a “riot, which included rock hurling and attempts to sabotage the security fence, and lasted about two hours,” the statement said.
The sniper fired at him once, wounding him in the leg, after warning shots and orders to disperse went unheeded, it said, adding that the video was taken by a soldier from another unit.
“As for the unauthorized filming of an operational event, the distribution of the filmed material and the statements made there, it should be noted that these do not suit the degree of restraint expected of IDF (Israel Defense Force) soldiers and will be dealt with by commanders accordingly,” the statement said.
It was not clear how many soldiers might face disciplinary action, nor how harsh it might be. In the video, a voice can be heard saying, “Yes! Son of a bitch!” as the Palestinian, who appears to be standing motionless near the fence, is shot.
Remarking on the video on Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters: “The Gaza sniper deserves a decoration, and the photographer a demerit.”