RAMALLAH, WEST BANK - Israeli troops on Monday shot and killed a young Palestinian man during clashes in a West Bank refugee camp, but an amateur video indicated the man was unarmed and not participating in the unrest when he was shot. The Israeli military said it was investigating.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said Omar Badawi, 22, was shot in the chest during the confrontation in the Aroub refugee camp, near the city of Hebron, and later died of his wounds.
The Israeli military said that troops had arrived in the refugee camp after Palestinians threw rocks and firebombs at a nearby highway. The army says soldiers came under attack by a large group of Palestinians throwing stones and firebombs and responded with tear gas and live fire. It could not confirm whether or not Badawi was involved.
Hours later, a video appearing to show the shooting began circulating on social media. In the video, a young man is seen walking in an alley between two buildings, with one hand in the air and carrying a towel in the other. As he exits the tunnel, he appears to be shot from the side.
Abdel-Rahman Hassan, a Palestinian cameraman who said he filmed the incident, said Badawi only exited his home to put out a fire that had broken out next to the house.
“He was carrying a towel, and the moment he got there he was shot,” Hassan said. He said Badawi posed no threat and accused the soldiers of killing him “in cold blood.
Hundreds of Palestinians attended Badawi's funeral, while the U.N. Mideast envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, wrote on Twitter that the video “would seem to indicate that he posed no threat to anyone” and that “such acts must be thoroughly investigated.”
The military said “the incident is being reviewed” but gave no further details.
Palestinians often charge that Israeli security forces use excessive or unnecessary force against them. But incriminating video evidence is rare, making such claims hard to prove.
Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups also accuse Israeli security forces of routinely covering up abuses and carrying out half-hearted investigations.
A video emerged last week showing Israeli troops shooting a young Palestinian man in the back with a painful sponge-tipped bullet as he walked away from them near a checkpoint outside Jerusalem.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast War.