Israeli officer filmed pushing disabled Palestinian

Israel probes video showing border policeman pushing man in a wheelchair amid rising tensions in occupied West Bank.

    Israeli officer filmed pushing disabled Palestinian
    Tensions have soared in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel since October [File: Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters]

    Israel has said it is examining an online video showing a border policeman pushing over a Palestinian in a wheelchair as tensions rose following an attempted stabbing in the occupied West Bank.

    The video, filmed by a local activist, has stirred Palestinian anger. An Israeli spokesperson said on Monday that the incident is under investigation. 

    The video was said to have been taken on Sunday after a 20-year-old Palestinian woman was shot while trying to stab an Israeli policeman in the flashpoint city of Hebron.

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    Palestinians in the area attempted to approach the woman, who was left in critical condition, as Israeli border police tried to keep them back.

    An officer is seen pushing the man in the wheelchair, which then tips over backwards.

    Some Palestinians then move forward towards the man in the wheelchair while another officer points his weapon at one of them, kicks him and orders him back, before firing a stun grenade.

    The man was not seriously hurt in the scuffle.

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    A spokeswoman for the Israeli justice ministry said the case was under investigation by its police investigations department, declining to provide further details.

    Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the incident occurred "a few minutes" after an alleged stabbing attempt took place in the nearby area. 

    "A crowd gathered and attempted to get into the area where the attack had taken place," he said.

    "Border police dispersed the crowd and used non-lethal means. The man in the wheelchair was part of that crowd that had gathered."

    Protests against Israel's ongoing occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip have boiled over into violence in recent months.

    Since October 1, Israeli forces or settlers have killed at least 176 Palestinians, including bystanders, unarmed demonstrators and attackers.

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    At least 27 Israelis have been killed in stabbing or shooting incidents carried out by Palestinians.

    Palestinian, Israeli and international rights groups have decried Israel for using excessive force and, in several cases, fatally shooting assailants who they contend could have been arrested.

    More than half a million Israelis live in more than 150 Jewish-only settlements across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

    Residing in heavily guarded communities, settlers are protected by both Israeli security forces and private security guards.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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