In May 2018, an Israeli border policewoman fired a sponge-tipped bullet at the back of a young Palestinian man for "entertainment" purposes. Hurting people you're occupying, stealing, killing, torturing, and ridding of their human rights is ... fun to you, Israel?
The 20-something-year-old officer was arrested in October 2018. After her bail hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, Judge Elad Persky said the Border Police officer shot the Palestinian man "as a dubious form of entertainment."
The incident didn't win media attention at the time, but it recently did after a video of the ruthless attack was leaked and shared by thousands on social media. The footage ignited anger among viewers and human rights activists around the world. It shows a group of Israeli police officers on duty near the Al-Zaim checkpoint outside of Jerusalem, shouting at the man to "get out of here!" in Arabic. As the Palestinian civilian proceeds to walk away with his arms raised - as he was asked by the officers - they begin shouting contradicting orders at him just to confuse him.
According to Haaretz, the officers are heard yelling "run already" before one of them shoots the man in the back with what appears to be a sponge-tipped bullet. The Palestinian man can be heard screaming out in pain as he falls to the ground while the officers walk away.
Fortunately for the victim, this type of bullet is only meant to incapacitate and was not designed to be lethal at long-range distances. The man was, however, seriously wounded after the police officer shot him for no apparent reason.
At the time of her hearing in 2018, the Border Police officer denied having anything to do with taking the shot. Her lawyer, Itzik Cohen, insisted that she told the truth and that "she doesn't appear in the video clip in the department's possession."
The Justice Ministry investigated and held a court hearing for the accused, during which evidence was uncovered under the form of text messages by members of the suspect's unit. In them, members are boasting about the incident; the defendant also admits in a text to have shot the Palestinian man.
The unit in charge of investigating allegations of police misconduct should be filing charges and issuing an indictment against the policewoman in the next few weeks. One of the charges she faces is the obstruction of justice for having allegedly asked colleagues to keep quiet about everything. Border Police officers ultimately reported the event.
She was not the only Border Police officer to be arrested for that occurrence. After being connected to the incident, four officers were taken into custody while others were reassigned.
"Such instances are the direct result of the culture of impunity fostered by Israel, which is crucial to the perpetuation of its military control over the Palestinians," the center's spokesperson, Amit Gilutz, said.
According to statistics published by the center, over 3,500 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli security forces between January 2009 and September 2019. In comparison, almost 200 Israelis - half of which were security forces and the other half Israeli civilians - were killed by Palestinians in that same period. Israeli civilians cause the death of 33 Palestinians in those 10 years.
B'Tselem believes Israeli soldiers are in constant violation of Palestinian human rights. The center also suspects that the reason behind the violations and the continued use of lethal force is due to the lack of accountability against soldiers who blatantly breach orders.