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  • Checkpoints are regularly criticized by human rights groups as violent mechanisms for Israel to sustain its power over the Palestinians.

    Checkpoints are regularly criticized by human rights groups as violent mechanisms for Israel to sustain its power over the Palestinians. | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 November 2019

The ammunition used to shoot him generally serves for crowd control, but can be deadly in short distances. 

A video showing an Israeli Border Police officer shooting an unarmed Palestinian man in the back leaving a checkpoint with his arms raised, in accordance with her instructions, was revealed Saturday evening on Israel Channel 13 News; as the footage became viral Sunday Israeli authorities said that an investigation had already been opened, and the officers on the scene suspended. 

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On the video, taken one year ago, a Palestinian man gets turned back by Israeli guards at a checkpoint and told to walk away with his hands up. However, and despite following the officers' orders, a policewoman shoots at him in the back with a sponge-tipped bullet.

Although the ammunition used to shoot him generally serves for crowd control it can be deadly in short distances. Yet in this case, the man is seen instantly falling on the ground, screaming in pain, luckily surviving his encounter with the IBP.

"The video shows the extent of blind hatred and Zionist racism," the Palestinian Liberation Organisation said in a statement, slamming Israel for the incident and urging the United Nations to take action, according to AFP.​​​​​​​

An Israeli police spokesman said that "as soon as the incident became known, the female border police officer was removed from duty," while the "other border policemen who were there were also removed and some of them were transferred from their positions." 

Israel's Haaretz reported that at a detention hearing after her arrest in October 2018, the judge said the officer apparently shot the man “as a dubious form of entertainment."

The newspaper also reported that the inquiry was finished, a hearing was held for the defendant and the Justice Ministry unit that investigates allegations of police misconduct is expected to issue an indictment against the officer, and possibly against other members of her unit, within a few weeks.

Since 1967, Israel has been occupying the West Bank where three million Palestinians live alongside more than 400 000 Israelis in settlements considered illegal under international law and seen as one of the major obstacles to the peace process. 

Checkpoints, along with curfews and arrests are regularly criticized by human rights groups as violent mechanisms for Israel to sustain its power over the Palestinians by arbitrarily restricting their mobility.

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