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IDF suspends officer filmed firing live ammunition at Palestinian protesters (HAīARETZ NEWS) By Gili Cohen and Nir Hasson 06/13/12)Source: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-suspends-officer-filmed-firing-live-ammunition-at-palestinian-protesters-1.436009 HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The incident took place in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh; Video appears to indicate that officer´s life was not in danger.

An IDF officer was documented ten days ago hurling rocks and firing live ammunition at Palestinian demonstrators near the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. In the video, shot by village resident Bilel Tamimi, the officer is seen throwing rocks at two young Palestinian men who are also hurling rocks at him. Later the officer is seen firing in their direction.

The IDF Spokespersonís Unit released a statement, stating that "an initial investigation found that live ammunition was used in the incident. The firing officer has been suspended until the investigation is completed."

The video, uploaded to Youtube, clearly shows clouds of dust rising from the area where the bullets struck, near the Palestinian men. The officer, who was at the scene with four other IDF soldiers, is seen advancing and retreating, suggesting his life was not in danger. According to standing orders, the use of crowd control equipment must be authorized by a company commander, and use of live ammunition can only be used after carrying out protocols for apprehending suspicious suspects.

The villages´ Popular Committee said in a statement that the violence by IDF soldiers reflects Israel´s policies and is not limited to a few isolated incidents.

Last December, Nabi Saleh resident Mustafa Tamimi, 28, was killed in a similar incident during a weekly demonstration. In February, the IDF admitted that injuries sustained by a French woman may have been caused by an army tear gas canister and not by rocks thrown by other protesters, as initially claimed.

Both incidents took place during the weekly demonstration by residents of Nabi Saleh against the expropriation of their land in favor of the nearby settlement of Halamish, and the settlers´ takeover of a spring that served the Palestinian residents.

They have been held every Friday for the past two years, with the participation of Israeli and foreign activists. Most weeks they end with Palestinians throwing rocks and Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers firing tear gas canisters and rubber-tipped bullets. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 06/13/12)




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