25.7.11: Officer points loaded weapon at Palestinian's head in Beit 'Ummar

25 Jul 2011

Update: On 14 November 2013 the office of the Military Advocate for Operational Matters informed B'Tselem that subsequent to the MPIU investigation, a decision was made to try the officer involved in the incident by a disciplinary panel.

On 18 June '11, soldiers arrested a Palestinian youth at a petrol station in the village of Beit 'Ummar for allegedly throwing stones. The youth's cousin, Rami Abu Mariah, was at the station. According to Abu Mariah's testimony to B'Tselem, he asked the soldiers to delay the arrest until the station owner arrived. He related that, after heated discussion with the soldiers, he tried to approach his cousin. An officer holding the rank of First Lieutenant, who had arrived with the force, loaded his rifle and directed it at his face from very close range.

Muhammad 'Awwad, a resident of the village who volunteers with B'Tselem's camera distribution project, came to the scene after the soldiers had arrived and filmed the incident.
B'Tselem has recently documented several incidents in which Israeli security forces were violent towards Palestinians in the area of Beit 'Ummar.
Aiming a loaded weapon at a civilian from almost point-blank range, when the person poses no danger, is illegal. The matter is especially troubling since the act was committed by an officer. Following media coverage, the IDF spokesperson announced that the Military Police would open an investigation into the officer's conduct.