B'Tselem: Prosecute soldier who fired 'rubber' bullet at Palestinian detainee, Investigate the involvement of an officer in the event and suspected cover-up

Published: 
20 Jul 2008

Today, B'Tselem is publishing a video clip documenting a soldier firing a rubber coated steel bullet, from extremely close range, at a cuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainee. The shooting took place in the presence of a lieutenant colonel, who was holing the Palestinian's arm when the shot was fired.

The incident took place on 7 July, in Nil'in, a village in the West Bank. A Palestinian demonstrator, Ashraf Abu Rahma, 27, was stopped by soldiers, who cuffed and blindfolded him for about thirty minutes, during which time, according to Abu-Rahma, they beat him. Afterwards, a group of soldiers and border policemen led him to an army jeep. The video clip shows a soldier aim his weapon at the demonstrator's legs, from about 1.5 meters away, and fire a rubber coated steel bullet at him. Abu-Rahma stated that the bullet hit his left toe, received treatment from an army medic, and released by the soldiers.

A Palestinian girl from Nil'in filmed the incident from her house in the village, and B'Tselem received it this morning.

B'Tselem does not know if any proceedings were opened against those involved. However, residents of Ni'lin told B'Tselem that they saw the soldier the following day, still serving in his unit.

B'Tselem immediately forwarded a copy to the Military Police Investigation Unit commander, with demand that an immediate Military Police investigation be opened, if it hasn't already, and that the soldier be brought to justice. Additionally, B'Tselem demanded that the involvement of the lieutenant colonel who was holding the detainee is investigated. B'Tselem stressed that members of the security forces are obligated to report unlawful acts. It is even more serious is a high-ranking officer participates in such a whitewash.