Israeli defense officials expressed fear on Friday that the viral video clip showing Border Police officers shooting a Palestinian woman armed with a knife at the Afula bus station could touch off further unrest and lead to more violence.
In the clip, police officers and security guards are seen aiming their weapons at the woman, who had pulled out a knife and refused repeated instructions to place it on the ground.
Seconds later, the woman is shot in her lower body. She was listed in moderate condition and transported to Poriya Hospital in Tiberias for treatment.
"This clip has reached every Palestinian house," a senior defense source told The Jerusalem Post
's Hebrew-language sister publication Ma'ariv
. "It is being depicted throughout the world as an execution."
Arab lawmakers roundly denounced the police on Friday, accusing it of "executing" the woman, a 29-year-old citizen of Israel from Nazareth.
Joint List MK Basel Ghattas said that the police officers behaved "horribly...by implementing government policy, which is to shoot every Arab suspect on site."
"This horrific video proves that we are living among the most armed, hysterical society in the world," Ghattas said. "How can they shoot a young woman that did nothing while standing with her arms raised?"
Ghattas said that he spoke to an Arab eyewitness who told him that "the woman did nothing."
"The witness is hiding inside a garage and he is afraid to come out," the Joint List MK said. "He emphasized that the young woman did nothing, and she didn't threaten anyone."
Ghattas criticized Israeli media outlets for labeling the woman "a terrorist" even though the video appears to show that there was no immediate danger to the security forces or passersby.
"The press, with its behavior, is fanning the flames and encouraging the killing of Arabs, when every Arab is a suspect and every suspect is a terrorist in the eyes of the press."
The Joint List deputy criticized calls by Israeli public officials, among them Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, to Jewish residents to carry firearms.
Ghattas said that such statements were "tantamount to condoning the killing of Arabs, which is what happened in Afula and Dimona."
"If the police and the government don't act to protect Arab citizens of Israel and do something about incitement, we will be forced to defend ourselves and to ask for international protections," he said.
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