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Israeli army shoots 3 Palestinians, killing 1 unprovoked, in video

Israeli army shoots 3 Palestinians, killing 1 unprovoked, in video

Beit Rima: A harrowing security camera video from a West Bank village captures a young man standing in a central square, being fatally shot, followed by the killing of two others who rushed to his aid, moments before Israeli military jeeps roll in.

The incident, which left a 17-year-old dead, coupled with interviews with wounded survivors, shows Israeli soldiers opened fire on the trio, who posed no apparent threat, according to an Associated Press review of the video.

One of the wounded Palestinians was shot a second time after he got up and tried to hop away. The fatal shooting in the village of Beit Rima last week is the latest in a series of incidents in which soldiers appeared to fire without provocation.

The incident is part of a troubling pattern, which Palestinians say, has worsened since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza three months ago.

The Israeli military said troops entered Beit Rima overnight Thursday into Friday as part of a “counter-terrorism operation.” It said troops fired at suspects who threw explosives and firebombs at them.

The video from a local smoke shop does not show anyone throwing explosives.

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After reviewing the footage, a military spokesperson said soldiers reported that one of the Palestinians visible kneeling in front of an object just outside the frame, was igniting a Molotov cocktail when he was shot.

The video, however, shows that the first shot does not hit the kneeling man, but rather another Palestinian man, Nader Rimawi. Nader said that the object was a stack of cardboard boxes and scraps of paper that 17-year-old Osaid Rimawi had gathered and was preparing to light to keep the men warm.

Other videos of the shooting posted to social media appear consistent with Nader's description of the object Osaid was preparing to light. It is possible videos taken from other angles could further illuminate what happened.

The wounded village residents denied having thrown explosives and said the shootings, about 2 am Friday, were unprovoked.

Apart from Israeli troops carrying guns, no weapons are visible throughout the video. The shooter is not visible either.

The video showed four armoured Israeli vehicles arriving about 2 minutes after the shooting and roughly a dozen soldiers getting out, guns prone. The soldiers then quickly left the wounded Palestinians on the ground and drove away.

A Palestinian car rushed to evacuate the wounded and shortly after, Osaid, a high school student studying to become a barber, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The military did not respond when asked if soldiers had violated military policy and did not say whether there would be an official investigation.

Human rights groups have previously presented cases in which soldiers opened fire without their lives being in danger, in apparent violation of the military's rules of engagement. In most cases, the victims were Palestinians.

In December, three Israeli hostages who had escaped their Hamas captors in Gaza waved white flags and shouted for help in Hebrew before being gunned down by soldiers.

The West Bank is experiencing one of the deadliest phases on record, according to United Nations monitors.

The Hamas attack prompted Israel to wage a blistering air and ground campaign on the Gaza Strip that has killed over 23,000 people — and to tighten its grip on the West Bank through near-nightly, often deadly, raids.

Israel says the crackdown is aimed at Hamas and other militant groups.

With PTI inputs

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TAGS:GazaWorld NewsIsrael Palestine ConflictIDF
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