Film shows IDF officer cocking M16 rifle at Palestinian

Movie shot by B'Tselem activist; Palestinian in film tells 'Post' he has not returned to work out of fear he will be killed by officer.

July 20, 2011 22:10
1 minute read.
IDF officer points gun in Palestinian's face.

soldier points gun in palestinian's face_311. (photo credit: B'Tselem)


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The Military Police has opened a criminal investigation against an IDF officer who was filmed cocking and pointing his M16 rifle at the head of an unarmed Palestinian in the West Bank last month.

The incident took place at the entrance to the Palestinian village of Beit Omar near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem on June 18 when an IDF contingent entered the village to arrest a terror suspect.

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During the arrest, a junior officer, with the rank of a lieutenant started walking the suspect away toward the back of a gas station when his cousin Rami Abu Mari started following them. The movies show the officer turn around, walk toward Abu Mari, tell him to go away and then cock his M16 rifle, lift it up and point it at the Palestinian’s head. The movie was filmed by an activist affiliated with B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.

Abu Mari, who worked until the incident as a taxi driver, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that he happened to be at the scene that day and wanted to help translate what the officer was saying to his cousin, who he claimed did not speak Hebrew. He said that, since the incident, he has not returned to work out of fear that he will be killed by the officer.

“I don’t understand why he did this to me,” Abu Mari said. “The soldiers wanted to arrest my cousin from the gas station and I went to help since my cousin does not speak Hebrew and suddenly the officer came up to me and said he will kill me.”

The IDF Spokesman’s Office confirmed that a criminal investigation had been opened against the officer.

“On the surface, this looks like a grave incident. It was brought to the attention of the officer’s commanders as well as to the Military Police, which has opened an investigation,” the IDF Spokesman’s Office said in an official statement.

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