Video shows Israeli forces shooting 3 Palestinians without any provocation, 1 of whom died

BEIT RIMA, West Bank (AP) — Video from a security camera in a West Bank village shows a young man standing in a central square when he is suddenly shot and falls to the ground. Moments before Israeli military jeeps arrived, two other people running to his aid were also attacked, killing a 17-year-old man.

An Associated Press review of the video and interviews with two wounded survivors revealed that Israeli soldiers opened fire on the three when they did not appear to pose a threat. One of the wounded Palestinians was shot a second time when he tried to get up and run away.

The deadly shooting in the village of Beit Rima last week is the latest incident series of events In which soldiers were seen opening fire without provocation, Palestinians say this trend has become worse since the outbreak of the pandemic Israel-Hamas war In Gaza three months ago.

The Israeli military said troops entered Beit Rima on the night of Thursday to Friday as part of an "anti-terrorism operation." It said soldiers fired at the suspects who threw explosives and firebombs at them.

Video obtained by the AP from a local smoke shop does not show anyone throwing explosives.

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After reviewing the footage, a military spokesman said soldiers reported that one of the Palestinians – seen kneeling in front of an object just outside the frame – was lighting a Molotov cocktail when he was shot. .

However, the video shows that the first bullet does not hit the kneeling man, but another Palestinian man, Nader Rimawi. Nader told the AP that the object was a pile of cardboard boxes and pieces of paper that 17-year-old Osaid Rimawi had collected and was preparing to light to keep people warm.

Other videos of the shooting posted on social media and reviewed by the AP appear to match Nader's description of the object that Osaid was preparing to light. It's possible that videos taken from other angles may shed more light on what happened.

In interviews with the AP, residents of the injured village denied throwing explosives and said the firing around 2 a.m. Friday was unprovoked.

Two of the six Rimawi brothers were in the town square when word spread that Israeli soldiers were in the village. He said he was aware of the military's presence, but there was no confrontation. "We were with the young men standing in the city square. We started looking around because we were standing and doing nothing," said Mohammed Rimawi, 25.

The half-hour security camera video begins about 20 minutes before the shooting, with the men gathering in small groups, walking in and out of frame as cars go by. Some men point elsewhere in the village.

The crowd in the frame eventually reduces to less than 10 men. They then dispersed as a bullet hit Mohammed's brother, 29-year-old Nader, in the left leg.

The video shows Mohammed running for help before he was shot.

“We saw a sniper who started firing. He shot him. I went to help him. Then he shot me,” said Mohammed, who was shot in the right hip.

The video shows Osaid running to help them while putting something in his pocket. He is immediately shot and later dies of his wounds. His brother Islam Rimawi later told the AP that he found a lighter, 20 shekels ($5.36) and a pack of cigarettes in Osaid's pocket.

Mohammad managed to crawl away, but the other two were rolling on the ground. Nader stood up and tried to jump away, but fell to the ground again. Speaking from his hospital bed a few days later, Nader said he collapsed after being shot in the right leg.

Apart from Israeli soldiers carrying guns, no weapons are visible throughout the video. Even the one who fired the bullet is not visible.

The video shows that about 2 minutes after the shooting, four armored Israeli vehicles arrive and about a dozen soldiers get out, waving guns. They gathered around Mohammed. A soldier prodded Osaid with his foot. Within 4 minutes, the soldiers left the injured Palestinians on the ground and walked away, ignoring the pile of boxes and refusing to arrest them.

A pile of boxes is then dropped by a Palestinian car rushing to evacuate the injured.

Shortly afterward, Osaid, a high school student studying to become a barber, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The military spokesman said there were other instances where Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at forces in Beit Rima that night, but added that he did not know when. The people who shot the video said this was the only dispute in Beit Rima that they knew about that night.

The army did not respond when asked whether the soldiers violated military policy and did not say whether there would be an official investigation.

Israeli rights group B'Tselem said that even though suspected shootings are caught on camera and investigated by the military, they are rarely prosecuted.

"Cases like this happen regularly, but no one hears about them," said Dror Sadot, a spokesman for the group. “The army will say it is launching an investigation. And this investigation will go on for years, perhaps without any media covering it. And then it will be flushed down the drain.”

In response to Sadot's allegation, a military spokesperson made this statement: “Each investigative file is examined according to its own circumstances. In appropriate cases, various enforcement measures are taken, including filing charges.

Human rights groups have previously highlighted cases in which soldiers opened fire without risking their lives, a clear violation of military regulations. In most cases the victims were Palestinians, but Israelis have also been killed. High-profile shootings during the war.

In December, three Israeli hostages who escaped Hamas capture in Gaza waved white flags and screamed in Hebrew for help. shot down by soldiers,

Sadot said his organization has seen unprecedented levels of violence from soldiers and settlers in the West Bank since the war began. The West Bank is experiencing one of these Deadliest stage on recordAccording to United Nations monitors.

Beit Rima resident Ahmed Rimwi, whose two brothers were wounded in the shooting, said he believed soldiers had become more aggressive since the beginning of the war. In the past, they would initially fire stun grenades to disperse the crowd in the village. Now, he said, "they shoot directly at people."

Hamas attack prompts Israel to wage war Violent air and ground operations on the Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 23,000 people – and to tighten its grip on the West Bank through almost nightly, often fatal, raids. Israel says the crackdown targets Hamas and other terrorist groups.

Mohammed and Nader are recovering from their wounds. The two usually work in a factory in a nearby Palestinian village, packaging ready-made salads for the market. He said he would not work again until he was able to walk.

Nader underwent surgery on Sunday due to a thigh injury. Mohammed has been released from hospital but is unable to put weight on his right leg. He limps with the aid of a metal walker around the family's small ornate home in Beit Rima – a village of about 4,000 people north of the city of Ramallah.

At the village square, the walls are covered with weathered faces of locals killed in encounters or clashes with Israeli forces. A photograph of Osaid is now visible between them, looking at the marked spot on the ground where he was killed.

Copyright 2024 The associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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