IDF to Discipline Troops Heard Cheering Shot Palestinian

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -
IDF soldiers. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

The IDF said Tuesday that soldiers heard in video footage cheering as a Palestinian is shot during Gaza border clashes will be disciplined.

The military said in a statement that an initial probe shows the video was taken in December during riots in which attempts were made to sabotage the security fence with Israel. Footage that emerged Monday appeared to show a soldier shooting a Palestinian near the Gaza fence as other soldiers are heard cursing the man and cheering when he falls.

The IDF said the man was a main instigator in the clashes and was shot in the leg and wounded after ignoring calls to halt.

The statement said the footage was not filmed by the Israeli sharpshooter but by a soldier from a different unit. It condemned the filming of the incident and the statements the soldiers made. It said the troops’ behavior does not reflect the army’s values and they will be dealt with accordingly.

Remarking on the video on Tuesday, Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman told reporters: “The Gaza sniper deserves a decoration, and the photographer a demerit.”

The IDF has stationed sharpshooters to enforce a no-go zone near the border and stop Palestinian attempts to breach the fence during protests.