Video shows Israeli soldier kneeling on protester’s neck

‘He started putting his knee on my neck … the more I resisted, the harder he pressed.’

Video showing an Israeli soldier kneeling on the neck of an elderly Palestinian protester at a rally against an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank is drawing comparisons to the death of George Floyd.

Sixty-five-year-old Khairi Hannoun was protesting against Israeli plans to confiscate land for a settlement in the occupied West Bank when he was thrown to the ground and an Israeli soldier appeared to kneel on his neck. 

“One soldier threw me to the ground and handcuffed me,” Hannoun explains. “He started putting his knee on my neck. When I felt this, I remembered the US officer kneeling on the head of the Black American man. I couldn’t resist any more, because the more I resisted, the harder he pressed.” 

The Israeli military says its soldiers acted “with restraint” after Hannoun resisted arrest and its troops had faced “rioting and violence”.

Settlements built by Israel in the occupied West Bank are illegal under international law.

Adel Hamad fears losing his land to the industrial zone Israel plans to build here.

“I have been farming this land for the past 20 years,” he says. “My 90-year-old father has been taking care of it before me. It’s our land.”

Palestinian officials say Israel has been speeding up settlement construction since the beginning of 2020. 

Khairi Hannoun was released after the incident and says he will keep fighting the confiscation of Palestinian land. 

This video was produced and edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s Hassan Ghani.