Israeli Police Officer Shoots Unarmed Palestinian in the Back With Sponge-tipped Bullet

A video showing an Israeli Border Police officer firing a sponge-tipped round at a Palestinian man who was leaving the scene with his arms raised, in accordance with her instructions, was revealed on Saturday evening on Israel Channel 13 News.

As reported in Haaretz about a year ago, the officer was arrested on suspicion of shooting without justification. At her detention hearing after her arrest in October 2018, the judge said the officer apparently shot the Palestinian “as a dubious form of entertainment.”

– לוחמי מג”ב יורים בגבו של נער פלסטיני כדור ספוג

הערב במהדורת השבת ב- @newsisrael13 נביא תיעוד בלעדי של אחד מלוחמי מג"ב מבצע ירי בכדור ספוג לעבר פלסטיני שלא מהווה סכנה וידיו באוויר

הפלסטיני שרצה להיכנס לישראל הורחק בידי לוחמי מג"ב ובעודו חוזר לשטחים נורה בגבו ללא כל סיבה ונפצע

— yishai porat (@yishaiporat) November 2, 2019

In the video, Border Police officers shout, “Run already” at the man, before one of the officers shoots him. Four additional Border Police officers were arrested in connection with the incident.

The officer who fired the sponge-tipped bullet was discharged from the Border Police and returned to the army to complete her mandatory service. The investigation was completed, a hearing was held for the defendant and the Justice Ministry unit that investigates allegations of police misconduct is expected to issue an indictment against her, and possibly against other members of her unit, within a few weeks.

As Haaretz reported, The evidence includes text messages in which members of the unit boasted about the incident and the main suspect's admission via text messages. She also faces a charge of obstructing justice, since she allegedly asked her fellow police officers not to talk about the incident. However, the incident was eventually reported by Border Police officers.

The event came to light during the investigation of a different incident, in which members of the Border Police allegedly beat a Palestinian man for no reason.