A graphic video sent to an Israeli human rights group shows a wounded Palestinian assailant who is lying on the ground being casually shot in the head and killed Thursday by an Israeli soldier.
The three-minute video clip was filmed on a cellphone and given to the group B’Tselem, a mainstream peace group in Israel, which released it to the media.
The video was taken in Hebron in the occupied West Bank in the minutes after a Palestinian with a knife attacked and wounded an Israeli soldier at a military checkpoint, according to Israeli media accounts. The soldier suffered moderate injuries to the hand and torso.
In the clip, the wounded Israeli soldier is shown being placed in an ambulance while nearby the Palestinian assailant is sprawled on the street. He was shot earlier during the attack but appears conscious, his eyes open. On the video he is seen moving his head.
A dozen Israeli troops, including officers, mill about. Several armed Israelis in civilian clothes approach the wounded Palestinian and take cellphone photos.
Then a few feet away, an Israeli soldier is seen cocking his rifle, aiming and shooting the prone Palestinian in the head.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz concluded that the Palestinian assailant “did not pose a threat to security forces.”
"This terrorist is still alive, this dog," a voice is heard on the video describing the Palestinian moments before he is killed, according to Haaretz.
The chief spokesman for the Israel Defenses Forces, Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz, condemned the shooting, saying, "This is not the culture of the IDF, and not the culture of the Jewish people, and not connected to military procedure in any way."
Almoz said the soldier has been arrested by military police and that officers at the scene are also under investigation, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The Maan news agency identified the dead Palestinian as Yusri al-Sharif, 21. Another Palestinian alleged to have been involved in the initial knife attack, Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, 21, was also shot and killed at the scene.
Ayman Odeh, leader of the Arab Israeli bloc of political parties in the Israeli parliament, said, “Israel has turned in recent months into a place in which executions are carried out in public with the encouragement of cheering mobs."
“The government of Israel tries to protect Israel's image as a state governed by the rule of law but in practice its ministers call over and over for the public to execute every suspected person,” he said in a statement.
Sarit Michaeli of B'Tselem noted that the shooting by the soldier did not cause alarm at the scene, as the ambulance crews and others go about their business. "Although this occurs in the plain view of other soldiers and officers," she said, "they do not seem to take any notice.