“Do you have a bullet in the barrel?” asks a voice off-camera in Hebrew. A crack is heard and the man falls suddenly. “Wow, what a video. Yes! Son of a whore!” another person says as people are seen running towards the victim to help. “Wow. They hit someone in the head,” says an off-camera voice.
Footage has emerged of an Israeli sniper shooting a seemingly unarmed and motionless Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip, followed by exuberant whooping from an onlooker.
Israel’s military said an initial inquiry found the shooting had taken place on 22 December, when one of its soldiers injured the man in his leg during what it called violent riots.
The grainy video comes after almost two weeks of daily protests by Palestinians on the Israel-Gaza border in which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have fatally shot more than two dozen people and wounded hundreds more, according to Gazan health officials. . . .
“Of course the Israeli settlers target him. The people who are activists, or the people who try to document Israeli violations, are being targeted by the Israelis all the time, because they don’t want to allow people to see the reality of how life is here.” — Hebron resident Ayman Samir
Emad Abu Shamsiyah first started receiving death threats in March, after a video he filmed for Israeli rights group B’Tselem, which captured Israeli soldier Elor Azaria shooting dead Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif, 21, was released to the public. The video sparked a media frenzy surrounding the incident, and directly led to the initial indictment of Azaria. Shamsiyah has not had a good night’s rest since.
Shamsiyah lives in the city-center of Hebron — arguably the most contentious city in all of the occupied West Bank — and the only city-center where Palestinians and Israeli settlers live side-by-side.
During the case, Shamsiyah was frequently accosted by Israeli settlers near his home, who demanded he change his testimony. After last week’s ruling, which found Azaria guilty of manslaughter, the threats against Shamsiyah have reached a new level, as 67 percent of the general Israeli population supports a full pardon for Azaria.
The lack of support for the manslaughter ruling has translated into anger among Israeli settlers, who have a neighbor directly responsible for the main evidence in the case. As a result, Shamsiyah cannot walk the streets of his neighborhood without fearing for his life.