Israeli forces killed two Palestinians who allegedly stabbed a soldier in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, as video emerged of one of the attackers being shot in the head as he apparently lay wounded on the ground.
Israeli rights group B’Tselem published the graphic video on Thursday morning, after the suspected stabbing incident took place in Tel Rumeida, a Palestinian neighbourhood situated near several Jewish-only settlements in the heart of Hebron.
|Three Palestinians killed by Israeli forces|
The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health identified the two men as Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi and Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, both 21.
They were both shot while they allegedly carried out a stabbing that left an Israeli soldier injured and taken for medical treatment.
The B’Tselem video shows an Israeli soldier step forward and shoot Sharif in the head. He was already splayed on the concrete, ostensibly unable to move, as Israeli medics treated the injured soldier nearby.
“This is the first time we’ve had such a clear video of a Palestinian being executed. This monstrous picture shows how brutal the occupation is,” Issa Amro, director of the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements activist group, told Al Jazeera by telephone.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, an Israeli military spokeswoman said that the soldier had been detained and an investigation into the incident had been opened.
“The IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] views this incident as a grave breach of IDF conduct, values and standards of military operations,” she said. “The soldier involved has been detained and a military investigation has been opened.”
As protests broke out in Hebron shortly after the incident, Amro said that there were limited clashes between local Palestinian youth and Israeli forces, who have closed off the neighbourhood and surrounding areas.
Since October, tensions have boiled over into escalated violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the blockaded Gaza Strip.
In that period, the Israeli army has killed at least 206 Palestinians, including protesters, bystanders and alleged attackers.
Of that total, at least 57 were from the Hebron area, where tensions have been particularly high due to the presence of around 500 Israeli settlers in the the middle of the Palestinian city.
Palestinian attackers have killed at least 29 Israelis in stabbing and shooting incidents.