Video: Israeli sniper praised for shooting Palestinian protestors

Israel/Palestine
on 34 Comments

A chilling video has been published by Palestinian activists on the YouTube page of Kareem Asakra, showing Palestinians being shot while protesting near Ramallah. The video includes the voices of Hebrew speakers, purportedly between an Israeli sniper and his commanding officer. The officer is heard praising, encouraging, and congratulating the sniper. Ma’an News is reporting Israeli soldier praised for shooting protesters in video footage:

[T]he officer congratulates the sniper for shooting a Palestinian “in his butt.” In other scenes, he repeatedly says: “Wow, very cool,” after the sniper shoot and hits protesters.

“Come on, you are allowed to shoot,” the officer urges the sniper, after which the sniper fires a shot and says: “I got him! I got him!”

In a later scene, the officer asks: “Did you hit him?” to which the sniper replies: “Of course I did, bro.”

Palestinians say they found the camera with the footage, allegedly dropped by a soldier at the scene of the clashes.

Ma’an reports the video, the authenticity of which has yet to be confirmed, also shows soldiers “climbing into an Israeli military jeep, appearing to show the interior of the vehicle”, a view likely not accessed by a Palestinian.  The Israeli military is “looking into the reports”.

Palestinians, who are routinely shot and often killed while protesting the occupation, say the footage refutes the Israeli military claim “that Israeli forces only opened fire on Palestinians posing an imminent threat.”

There is no visual indication the Palestinians shot in the video were posing an imminent threat to soldiers. The Hebrew voices captured in the recording do not sound alarmed, scared or threatened.

The video, published yesterday, has already received over 10,000 views:

Thanks to Ofer Neiman

34 Responses

  1. Bumblebye
    January 13, 2016, 8:11 pm

    Since there was one constant voice would he be the one filming? A commanding officer who somehow lost his camera!
    “Imminent threat” my a$$. Young men in Palestine legitimately protesting endless occupation, endless theft of resources, endless dispossession, endless israeli violence, endless humiliation in *their* land by invaders.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 13, 2016, 9:42 pm

      Since there was one constant voice would he be the one filming?

      bumblebye, it could have been someone other than the sniper or the commanding officer recording the scene standing near the others.

  2. Annie Robbins
    January 14, 2016, 8:58 am

    i think this is a huge story btw. it’s not that we don’t know they do this, but this feels like proof to me. the guy literally eggs him on. it’s like a hunt or something, for sport. it’s so gross. i hope someone puts subtitles on this video. i want to read the words when they are spoken. and the fact of the ending, getting into the jeep — this is a view only a soldier would have. of course, it could have been faked i suppose. let’s see what the military has to say about this, if they deny it.

    • DS1216
      January 15, 2016, 6:19 am

      A huge story? I don’t think so. In general, I fail to see what exactly is wrong with the content of the video. The soldiers were only hitting rioters armed with slingshots, which are a potentially deadly, albeit primitive weapon. Thus, they are only hitting imminent threats. Also, the sniper hit all of his targets below the waist. If he would’ve wanted to kill, he would’ve aimed for the head or (more likely) the torso.

      Not to mention that the “egging on” was nothing more than saying “Very good! Great shot!” and similar phrases. What did you expect, for the soldiers to be crying in remorse while shooting?

      All in all, it was basically a battle between law enforcement and rioters. You support the rioters, we get that. Your reason for supporting them in general may even be correct. But claiming that the law enforcement in this video used excessive force is simply disingenuous.

      • bryan
        January 15, 2016, 8:16 am

        No it is you that is being utterly disingenuous by suggesting that “it was basically a battle between law enforcement and rioters.” That argument would be not be so daft if it was filmed in Tel Aviv or Chicago, though most states avoid violence against even violent demonstrators in so far as that is feasible, and employ policemen rather than soldiers. But this is taking place near Ramallah, completely outside the admittedly vague borders of the state, and these are not policemen but heavily armed soldiers of the occupation, and no context is presented here that suggests the forces had to intervene – could they not simply have withdrawn to barracks? This is not a normal confrontation in any sense of the word, and the state of Israel has for decades now avoided establishing normality by refusing to constructively negotiate on peace, preferring to maintain this ugly and immoral “status quo”

      • eljay
        January 15, 2016, 9:34 am

        || DS1216: … All in all, it was basically a battle between law enforcement and rioters. You support the rioters, we get that. Your reason for supporting them in general may even be correct. But claiming that the law enforcement in this video used excessive force is simply disingenuous. ||

        You support the Occupation Forces (not “law enforcement”) of Israel using a non-excessive amount of force to maintain Israel’s decades-long and on-going occupation and colonization of non-Israeli territory.

        We get that.

        Would you also support the Occupation Forces of Country X using a similar amount of non-excessive force to maintain an occupation and colonization of Israel?

      • Mooser
        January 15, 2016, 11:28 am

        Yeah, you tell us “DS1216”. Set us straight on all that.

      • Tchoupitoulas
        January 16, 2016, 1:11 pm

        @DS1216

        “Your reason for supporting them in general may even be correct.”

        Well, at least that’s a start.

  3. Shmuel
    January 14, 2016, 9:40 am

    The video strikes me as authentic, and appears to be part of the operation, as it is perfectly coordinated with the commander’s orders, filming exactly what he is talking about at any given moment.

    There is a constant voice, evidently that of the commander, and a number of other voices, apparently of other soldiers and perhaps the shooter himself.

    The commander’s tone is professional — telling the shooter (or shooters?) when it is permissible to fire (although it seems clear that it is not live ammunition) and when it is not. The 2 criteria seem to be whether the target is standing (permissible) or crouching (not permissible) and whether the target is attempting to throw a stone/use a slingshot. When it is permissible he points it out and encourages the shooter and commends him for a job well done when he succeeds in hitting the target. It’s the kind of tone a boss or supervisor would use, overseeing any task.

    The cheering that is heard at one point (“What a hit!”, etc.) is not the commander but, apparently other soldiers.

    Aḥi (translated “bro” in the article) is just the way soldiers (and young men in general, in Israel) refer to each other.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 14, 2016, 12:44 pm

      thanks shmuel

      The commander’s tone is professional — telling the shooter (or shooters?) when it is permissible to fire (although it seems clear that it is not live ammunition) and when it is not.

      does it sound like perhaps a training exercise on live people? one would think a trained sniper would already know this stuff.

      it seems very contrary to the idea of imminent danger.

      • Shmuel
        January 14, 2016, 1:04 pm

        does it sound like perhaps a training exercise on live people? one would think a trained sniper would already know this stuff.

        It’s not about informing the shooter, but about giving explicit command permission. The word used is rashai — “allowed” (in the sense of “permission granted” or “go ahead”). For example, at one point, the commander says, “Preparing a slingshot. I’ve seen it. Rashai.” It sounds like going by the book — which brings me to your second question:

        it seems very contrary to the idea of imminent danger.

        It seems apparent from this video that “imminent danger”, or danger of any kind are not part of the instructions given to commanders in the field (as I said, this guy really seems professional and by-the-book). The instructions, judging by this video, seem to be to shoot (with whatever “non-lethal” weapon they are using) anyone who is 1) engaging in some sort of hostile action (throwing a stone or using a slingshot); 2) standing in an upright position; and only on explicit command.

        The other rule of engagement that seems to emerge is that the shooter must aim for the lower body (probably what is behind the condition that the target must be upright). This is evident both from the actual hits in the footage, and the fact that, near the beginning, when the commander says, “hit”, the shooter or someone else says, “but not in the lower body”. To which the commander replies, “It was in the ass. right in the ass.”

        Maybe someone from Breaking the Silence can offer a more informed explanation. My military knowledge is indirect and from the days of the first Intifada, when the “non-lethal” weapon of choice in the OT was a rubber-coated steel bullet, fired from a canister fit on the end of an M-16, and the rules of engagement were somewhat different.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 14, 2016, 8:31 pm

        thanks shmuel

    • Abern
      January 16, 2016, 5:14 pm

      I am not making a major fuss Shmuel, but this business about so-called “live ammunition” needs to stop. The “live ammunition” description is a semantic subterfuge. It is a deceit employed to give people the impression the Israelis aren’t actually shooting people with real bullets.

      There could be some leeway here for sponge-tipped or rubber-coated bullets, which both have a real steel core in them, but the term is also applied to very real .22 rimfire bullets fired from the IDF’s Rugers. A .22 rimfire bullet can penetrate 9 to 10 inches into a man’s chest or penetrate a man’s skull. The Rugers only fire the “long rifle” type of .22 rimfires. I have used the short .22s fired from a short barreled pistol to kill hogs. One shot to the head of a hog did the job quickly, and every time.

      • Shmuel
        January 16, 2016, 5:32 pm

        I agree, Abern, which is why I put “non-lethal” in quotation marks. Many have been killed or maimed by these “non-lethal” weapons. I have seen rubber-coated steel bullets (which Israeli authorities misleadingly refer to simply as “rubber bullets”) used from up-close. The boy who was hit, “only” lost a kidney.

  4. Atlantaiconoclast
    January 14, 2016, 10:13 am

    Has this made it to mainstream media yet? Why do I expect it won’t happen? And even if it does, Zionists and neocon media will just say its Pallywood. Americans by and large don’t really care about what Israel does to Palestinians. I wish it wasn’t so. They would care if they knew what Israel has done to them over the years.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 14, 2016, 11:01 am

      as far as i know, this has not hit the mainstream yet. it would be quite the elaborate spoof tho if it was fake. i don’t see how one could make it disappear too easily. i would imagine b’tselem would have a thing or two to say about it. and possibly forensic architecture link to forensic-architecture.org the ones who cracked open the nakba day killings. although it doesn’t look like anyone died in this recording the sniper is certainly being encouraged. i’m sure it wouldn’t be difficult to verify if the footage was altered or toyed with and if so how.

  5. Marnie
    January 14, 2016, 11:06 am

    It would be interesting how things would look if Palestinians had the same weapons as the IOF and the IOF had only stones. There would be an accord in no time.

    All of the “yafe ma’od (very good!) is disgusting.

  6. Qualtrough
    January 14, 2016, 11:59 am

    I wish I had the ability to create a bingo board here. Here are my choices for the Hasbara Bingo game that could be played using the comments that are sure to appear here soon from the usual suspects. I am sure others will be able to add to this:

    Authenticity of the video is doubtful.
    Arab nations would have dealt with the protesters much more harshly.
    Israeli soldiers are humane, they were not shooting to kill.
    This is nothing compared to what goes on in the USA.
    Stones can kill people.
    Why are their families letting their children do this?
    Publishing this video indicates an anti-semitic bias.
    This just shows how professional Israeli soldiers are.
    Ad nauseum…

    Maybe this would be better as a drinking game?

    • diasp0ra
      January 14, 2016, 12:35 pm

      @Qual

      “Maybe this would be better as a drinking game?”

      If you don’t mind death by alcohol poisoning ;)

  7. DavidDaoud
    January 14, 2016, 1:17 pm

    Thanks to Ofer Neiman for whatever it was you did to make this publicly available!

    • Mooser
      January 17, 2016, 9:46 pm

      The Officer may have been ‘coaching’ the kids through their first shots at human beings. They may have reservations about that, depending on how they were raised. You know, religion and stuff.
      But once they’ve ‘made their bones’ they’re made men.

  8. Ossinev
    January 14, 2016, 1:40 pm

    Gordon Bennett he`s at it again ! Todays JP features Naughtily`s latest deflection ruse on the Duma killings:
    link to jpost.com

    “According to Bennett, in Israel today there is a division between “an optimistic Zionist majority that believes in the State of Israel and a desperate and extremist minority.”

    “Why do you think they carried out the attack in Duma?” he asked the students, referring to the murder of a Palestinian family by Jewish right-wing extremists (nb not”terrorists”) in Duma.

    “The aim was not murder; that was just the means. We are talking about people who have given up on persuading the people of Israel of their positions and they want to bring our house down upon us. They’re trying to burn down our house,” he said.”

    So just to clarify there are Jewish Israelis on the left and Jewish Israelis (settlers BTW) on the right and the they are as one . It`s all about trying to “persuade” the people of Israel of their positions.

    It`s not about murder – that was purely coincidental. And the fact that no one on the “left” has been investigated for or charged with “extremist” crimes is also coincidental. And just to make it absolutely clear to you Israelophobic,Anti – Zionist,Anti-Semitic types out there who are criticising the beautiful Land of Creation – the majority of the Israeli Jewish population has not become by and large a rabid self delusional Fascist mob.Au contraire we remain and thus shall forever be sayeth the Bennett a lantern unto the dark nations of this the one true God`s earth. Thus endeth the lesson.

    The tragedy for the (now) minority of decent,moral Israeli Jews is that these self delusional morons have set an irreversible agenda and nothing short of complete international isolation will stop the descent of Israel into overt Fascism.

    BOYCOTT UGLY APARTHEID ISRAEL
    SUPPORT BDS
    TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ABOUT BDS

    • eljay
      January 14, 2016, 2:14 pm

      || Ossinev: … link to jpost.com ||

      … According to Bennett, in Israel today there is a division between “an optimistic Zionist majority that believes in the State of Israel and a desperate and extremist minority.” …

      It’s terrible when the hard-core Zio-supremacists can’t be relied upon to do exactly what the more-delicate, “hold our noses” Zio-supremacists want them to do.

      … “I want Israel to be a country which is proud of being Jewish … ”

      Israel should be a country which is proud of being Israeli. But a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist wouldn’t know anything about that.

      … He added the future Jewish state should be a “democracy that provides full equality to all its citizens, in both rights and obligations.” …

      Yup, Israel should be a democracy with full equality except for those different / special rights for Jews. But, hey, at least non-Jews will have equality in the obligation to be “proud of being Jewish”.

      What a Zio-supremacist asshole this guy is…

  9. JLewisDickerson
    January 14, 2016, 2:36 pm

    RE: “A chilling video has been published by Palestinian activists on the YouTube page of Kareem Asakra, showing Palestinians being shot while protesting near Ramallah. The video includes the voices of Hebrew speakers, purportedly between an Israeli sniper and his commanding officer. The officer is heard praising, encouraging, and congratulating the sniper. “ ~ Annie ‘Kind of Now, Kind of Wow’ Robbins

    SEE: “The Dogs of War: The Next Intifada”, By Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 9/03/11

    [EXCERPT] . . . The second (“al-Aqsa”) intifada started after the breakdown of the 2000 Camp David conference and Ariel Sharon’s deliberately provocative “visit” to the Temple Mount. The Palestinians held non-violent mass demonstrations. The army responded with selective killings. A sharpshooter accompanied by an officer would take position in the path of the protest, and the officer would point out selected targets – protesters who looked like “ringleaders”. They were killed.
    This was highly effective. Soon the non-violent demonstrations ceased and were replaced by very violent (“terrorist”) actions. With those the army was back on familiar ground. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to counterpunch.org

    • JLewisDickerson
      January 14, 2016, 2:54 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Netanyahu: Stupid Like a Fox?”, By Uri Avnery, Antiwar.com, 06/13/11

      [EXCERPT] . . . Last week, there was a repeat performance. The Palestinians all around Israel have declared June 5 “Naksa” Day, to commemorate the “Setback” of 1967, when Israel spectacularly defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, reinforced by elements from the Iraqi and Saudi armies.
      This time, the Israeli army was prepared. The fence was reinforced and an anti-tank ditch dug in front of it. When the demonstrators tried to reach the fence—again near Majdal Shams—they were shot by sharpshooters. Some 22 were killed, and many dozens were wounded. The Palestinians report that people trying to rescue the wounded and retrieve the dead were also shot and killed.
      No doubt this was a deliberate tactic decided upon in advance by the army command after the Naqba Day fiasco and approved by Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. As was said quite openly, the Palestinians had to be taught a lesson they would not forget, so as to drive any idea of an unarmed mass action out of their minds.
      It is frighteningly reminiscent of events 10 years ago.
      After the first Intifada, in which stone-throwing youngsters and children won a moral victory that led to the Oslo agreement, our army conducted exercises in anticipation of a second Intifada. This broke out after the political disaster of Camp David, and the army was ready.
      The new Intifada started with mass demonstrations of unarmed Palestinians. They were met by specially trained sharpshooters. Next to each sharpshooter stood an officer who pointed out the individuals who were to be shot because they looked like ringleaders: “The guy in the red shirt… Now the boy with the blue trousers…”
      The unarmed uprising broke down and was replaced by suicide bombers, roadside bombs, and other “terrorist” acts. With those our army was on familiar ground.

      I suspect very much that we are witnessing much the same thing once more. Again, specially trained sharpshooters are at work, directed by officers…

      SOURCE – link to original.antiwar.com

      • JLewisDickerson
        January 14, 2016, 3:14 pm

        P.P.S. I hate to burden y’all with my troubles, really I do, but — is it just me, or did this entire friggin’ country just go through a Powerball-Induced Major Manic Episode? The “news” reports on the radio sounded like they were being delivered by a bunch of kindergartners suffering from ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) who had decided to supplement their Ritalin by breaking into their teacher’s crack jar. When did Prozac Nation morph into Dysfunction Junction without even so much as a lousy ‘jump cut’? How gauche!

        Anyway, it was one hell of a wild ride until suddenly . . . [sound of crickets chirping]. Do they expect us to just go ‘cold turkey’? How the hell are we supposed to manage a soft landing without tapering off? I need a fix, goddammit! Just a little something to help me set the old ailerons in the right position for a cushy landing. What the hell am I supposed to do? I thought maybe I had a few Valium left, but I guess I must have “misremembered”. So, now I’m just sittin’ here breathin’ into a paper bag, and listening to Thom Hartmman analyze Clinton’s attack on Sanders’ single-payer plan. Deep breaths! Deep breaths! Deep . . .
        . . . OMG, what a brainstorm. I have the perfect solution! Does anyone want to join me in executing a massive pump-and-dump? Oh, yeah! That should get the old neurotransmitters back into the stratosphere. I’m feelin’ better just thinking about it. . .

      • JLewisDickerson
        January 14, 2016, 5:04 pm

        P.P.P.S. LINK CORRECTED: . . . OMG, what a brainstorm. I have the perfect solution! Does anyone want to join me in executing a massive pump and dump (P&E)? Oh, yeah! That should get the old neurotransmitters back into the stratosphere. There now, I’m feelin’ better just thinking about it. . .

        REGARDING THE BAD “PUMP-AND-DUMP” LINK, AS THE BRITISH VACUUM CLEANER GUY* IS WON’T TO SAY: “I just think things should work properly”! Although I agree that things should work properly, I would probably reply to him with: “Pardon?” Eventually, I would try to work in: “Where I come from, we don’t say ‘What?’ It’s proper to say ‘Pardon?'”
        Just for the fun of it.
        And, because I like to stick to “the script”.
        Or, at least, work from “a script”**.

        * Sir James Dyson: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Suction …
        link to abcnews.go.com
        Aug 19, 2013 – Sir James Dyson created a cleaning empire based on a simple concept: “I just think things should work properly.” Made famous for creating the …

        ** The Soup – link to seinfeldscripts.com

  10. diasp0ra
    January 14, 2016, 7:27 pm

    When some rare cases of abuse reach a court of investigation, they are usually dismissed on the basis that everything was done according to the correct protocol and rules.

    This video shows that the correct protocol by the IDF is inhumane and needlessly cruel, against targets that don’t pose any threat to the soldiers.

    Something being legal or according to protocol does not mean it is just or right, as this video clearly shows. This is why I have no faith in the Israeli judicial system. Just like I had no faith in the Apartheid judicial system. Because injustice can become law, and it can be completely legal and according to protocol.

  11. Ossinev
    January 15, 2016, 9:24 am

    @ds1216
    “All in all, it was basically a battle between law enforcement and rioters”
    Complete and utter bollocks. The IDF were not”enforcing the law”. They were breaking International Law by being in the Occupied Territories period. Every injury,every murder perpetrated by them whilst”enforcing the law” is a crime against the native Palestinian people and a crime against humanity.

  12. MaxNarr
    January 17, 2016, 7:46 pm

    Keyword: Purportedly

    • Mooser
      January 17, 2016, 7:57 pm

      “Keyword: Purportedly”

      What’s a matter Max, aren’t you proud of the “severe consequences” for offending the “the Jewish state”? Why would you deny them?
      I mean, doesn’t this show the Methodist Church that Israel (“the Jewish state”) can hand out “severe consequences” to those who won’t invest?

    • Mooser
      January 17, 2016, 9:43 pm

      “MaxNarr” why on earth is your gravatar a tub of recalled-for-e. coli hummus?

    • talknic
      January 18, 2016, 12:08 am

      @ MaxNarr “Keyword: Purportedly”

      Indeed Max, for which no one suffered an extrajudicial assassination. Quite unlike those often executed on unproven allegations by that land slut the purported ‘Jewish’ State

  13. Kathleen
    January 18, 2016, 12:36 pm

    Interesting way for a cultural arts center in Boulder Colorado how to celebrate Martin Luther King day. Promoting a Jewish civil rights activist..hmmm

    link to tickets.thedairy.org::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=84B00CD7-4782-4D3A-AC1B-A9C0C913DC42

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