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16 Oct, 2018 20:31

Israeli policewoman suspected of shooting & seriously injuring Palestinian for fun

Israeli policewoman suspected of shooting & seriously injuring Palestinian for fun

A female officer with the Israeli border police has been arrested and charged with shooting a Palestinian “for no apparent reason.” According to the court, she shot the man as a form of “entertainment.”

The incident took place in May, when the officer, who is around 20, was on duty at a West Bank checkpoint outside of Jerusalem. The situation was filmed by one of her colleagues on his phone. The footage shows the police officers shouting in Arabic at a Palestinian man to go away.

Moments later, the Palestinian is shot in the back with a rubber bullet. The man reportedly suffered serious injuries in the incident, according to the Israeli media. However, his identity has not been established yet, and the police are still looking for him.

The incident became known to the Israeli Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department during a probe into another case, which involved border police officers beating a Palestinian for no reason. The female officer, whose name was not revealed, was arrested together with four colleagues who were present at the scene.

She shot the Palestinian for no apparent reason and allegedly did it “as a dubious form of entertainment,” Judge Elad Persky said during the Monday hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court. The policewoman remains in custody, while her colleagues were released under certain conditions.

The evidence in the case includes text messages in which members of the policewoman’s unit boast about the incident, while she allegedly admits making the shot. However, during the hearing, she denied firing at the Palestinian.

“She doesn't appear in the video clip in the department's possession and insists that she's telling the truth,” said her lawyer, Itzik Cohen.

Meanwhile, the officer is also suspected of obstructing justice, as the investigators believe she told her colleagues to stay silent about the incident. The Border Police reacted to the incident by saying that the actions the officer is suspected of “go against our values” and that “actions” will be taken against the officers involved in the incident “to end their military service” if their guilt is proven.

The Israeli military have been repeatedly accused of inhumane treatment of Palestinians. Footage that has surfaced online has shown Israeli soldiers cheering as they were shooting unarmed Palestinians. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used Palestinians as “target practice,” a British-Palestinian writer and academic Kamel Hawwash told RT in April.

Israel is currently engaged in a violent crackdown of the nearly-weekly protests on the border with Gaza, which began six months ago and has claimed lives of some 200 people and left more than 20,000 injured since March. Despite the international criticism of its extreme punitive measures, Israel has resorted to using live ammunition to disperse the demonstrations, and has even called in airstrikes in retaliation against attempts by Palestinians to breach Israel’s border fence at some point.

Meanwhile, the Israeli security personnel often see their punishment mitigated when it comes to violence against Palestinians. An Israeli soldier, who was caught on camera executing an injured Palestinian back in 2016, eventually served only half of his original 18-month sentence in a military prison. Commenting on the case, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani said the soldier’s punishment for the death was “excessively lenient.”

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