Video Shows IDF Shooting Unarmed, Loitering West Bank Palestinians, Killing One
Video Shows IDF Shooting Unarmed, Loitering West Bank Palestinians, Killing One

In the latest in an ongoing stream of disturbing shootings of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers caught on video, images captured last week show the IDF shooting three seemingly unarmed men — killing one — as they loitered in the West Bank village of Beit Rima.  

The IDF says soldiers were in the village for a “counter-terrorism operation,” and claimed they shot at men who threw firebombs and explosives. An Israeli military spokesman who reviewed the video doubled down on the claim, saying a man who is seen kneeling in the video was in the act of lighting a Molotov cocktail when he was shot. 

However, an Associated Press examination of multiple videos of the 2am incident found the evidence sharply contradicts the Israeli claims. Indeed, the IDF didn’t even shoot the kneeling man first. 

Video that starts 20 minutes before the shooting shows various men casually loitering and walking around near a town square. Rather than lighting a Molotov cocktail, one of the wounded survivors say 17-year-old Osaid Rimawi was lighting a stack of cardboard boxes and paper he’d assembled to build a fire to keep the group warm. Video shot from across the street corroborates his version: 

Osaid Rimawi kneels in front of a stack of cardboard boxes moments before the IDF opens fire (screenshot from security camera footage via AP)

The IDF first shot 29-year-old Nader Ramawi in the left leg. The others initially scattered. When Ramawi’s 25-year-old brother Mohammed ran to aid his brother, he too was shot, with the bullet hitting his hip. Next, Osaid darts toward the victims, and is shot, fatally. The high school student was studying to be a barber. 

The video gets worse. As Nader stands up and tries to hop away on his one good leg, the IDF shot him in that leg too. It bears emphasis that Nader wasn’t brandishing any weapons, and this incident didn’t take place in Gaza, but the West Bank.

Soldiers approached the downed Palestinians a couple minutes later. One prodded the dying Osaid with his foot, and after hovering around the wounded, the soldiers leave without taking interest in the stack of boxes that the IDF spokesperson said was a Molotov cocktail, according to AP‘s review of the videos. 

Thus far, Israel’s response to this latest claim of murderous misconduct by its soldiers follows a familiar pattern. First comes a denial of wrongdoing, then a false claim about the nature of the incident, followed by the announcement of a probe to be conducted by the IDF itself. 

That pattern most prominently played out in the IDF’s fatal shooting of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in 2022, which eventually ended in a mere apology and no charges against soldiers. Dror Sadot, spokeswoman for Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, tells AP that justice is unlikely to result from this new episode either:

Cases like these happen quite regularly, but no one’s hearing about them. The military will say that it is opening an investigation. And this investigation will last for years, probably without any media covering it. And then it will be washed down the drain.”

Last month, IDF soldiers in Gaza shot and killed three Israeli hostages, all of whom were shirtless and one of whom was waving a white surrender flag. That incident lent credence to critics’ claims that the IDF has been demonstrating a reckless disregard for Palestinian life. 

Also in December, we reported on the IDF fatally shooting these two men to death one incapacitated and the other seemingly unarmed – in the Israeli-occupied West Bank:

The United States has been reluctant to admonish the Israeli government over such incidents. However, amid a surging global outcry over the high civilian casualty count in Gaza, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at a press briefing in Israel on Tuesday, said the “daily toll on civilians in Gaza, particularly children, is far too high.” 

“Those who dare to accuse our soldiers of war crimes are people imbued with hypocrisy and lies who do not have a single drop of morality,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in October. “The [IDF] is the most moral army in the world.” 

Here’s the AP’s full video breakdown and report on last week’s West Bank shooting:   

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/11/2024 – 21:20

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