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Monday, 21 July 2008

Investigation begins into Israeli soldier who shot blindfolded Palestinian with rubber bullet

DAILY MAIL ONLINE : 21st July 2008

By Matthew Kalman

The Israeli army is investigating an incident in which a Palestinian
detainee was shot with a rubber bullet at point-blank range while he
was bound and blindfolded by Israeli soldiers.

The incident occurred in the West Bank village of Nil'in on July 7,
where Palestinians were protesting against the Israeli securit
barrier.

The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem yesterday released shocking
footage of a soldier firing a rubber-coated bullet at Ashraf Abu
Rahma, 27.

The film was released as Gordnon Brown began a two-day visit to Israel
and the Palestinian Authority.

Abu Rahma told B'Tselem that the bullet hit his left toe. He said he
received treatment from an army medic, and released by the soldiers.

The shooting took place in the presence of an Israeli army lieutenant
colonel, who is seen holding Abu Rahma's arm when the shot is fired.

The Israeli army admitted the incident was 'grave' and in 'direct
contradiction with Israeli Defence Forces' values and principles.'

'Military laws forbid inflicting harm on detainees and obligate
soldiers to show them respect and ensure their safety. Incidents when
detainees are harmed are, in accordance with IDF policy, forwarded to
the Military Police for investigation.

'As in this case, after reviewing the videotape, the JAG Brig.-Gen.
Avichai Mandelblit ordered the opening of a probe into the incident.

'It should be mentioned that the Palestinian was inspected at the
scene by an IDF doctor and was found to have sustained a injury to his
right toe although in the footage he is seen collapsing to the ground
in obvious pain before sitting up.

'The Palestinian was released to his home without requiring medical
treatment,' said the army in a statement.

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