WATCH: IDF officer stones, shoots at Palestinian protesters

This post has been updated (see below).

The video below was taken by Palestinian photographer Bilal Tamimi in Nabi Saleh on June 1, 2012. I received it from the spokeswoman for the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, an umbrella organization for various local unarmed resistance initiatives in the West Bank (like the ones in Bil’in, Ni’lin and many other places).

The video was taken during the weekly unarmed protest in the Nabi Saleh.  It clearly shows an IDF officer throwing stones and shooting at two Palestinian stone throwers. The delay between the shots and their sound can be explained by the fact that the photographer is standing on an opposite hill. You can see the dust rise next to the Palestinians, from the bullets fired at around 1:20, and again later in slow motion. According to local testimonies, the officer was shooting live ammunition (that’s what the video seems to indicate as well). I will update this post later with an IDF spokesperson response, if and when I get one.

UPDATE: Israeli media is reporting that the officer seen in the video was suspended until the completion of the army’s investigation into the event. 

Palestinians in the tiny village of Nabi Saleh have been holding weekly demonstrations since 2009, protesting the seizure of a local spring by settlers from the nearby settlement of Halamish. So far, one protester was killed, and dozens suffered serious injuries by IDF soldiers during the Nabi Saleh demonstrations. Hundreds, including Israelis and internationals who take part in the protest, have been arrested.

The struggle in Nabi Saleh is so important, because it’s one of the only efforts taking place right now to directly confront Israel’s policy of settlements and land confiscation, which had such enormous effects on the Palestinian population in the West Bank’s rural areas. The measures against the people of Nabi Saleh are not limited to the demonstrations: There are night raids, long prison terms, and what seems like arbitrary punishment against the residents, like the one caught on camera here.

I highly recommend reading this post, which gives some context and history of the events in Nabi Saleh.