BEIT RIMA, West Bank — Security camera video from a West Bank village shows a young man standing in a central square when he is suddenly shot and drops to the ground. Two others rushing to his aid are also hit, leaving a 17-year-old dead, moments before Israeli military jeeps roll in.
An Associated Press review of the video and interviews with the two wounded survivors showed Israeli soldiers opened fire on the three when they did not appear to pose a threat. One of the wounded Palestinians was shot a second time after he got up and tried to hop away.
The fatal shooting in the village of Beit Rima last week is the latest in a series of incidents in which soldiers appeared to fire without provocation, a trend Palestinians say has worsened since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza three months ago.
The Israeli military said troops entered Beit Rima overnight Thursday into Friday as part of a “counter-terrorism operation.” It said troops fired at suspects who threw explosives and firebombs at them.
The video, obtained by the AP from a local smoke shop, does not show anyone throwing explosives.
After reviewing the footage, a military spokesperson said soldiers reported that one of the Palestinians — visible kneeling in front of an object just outside the frame — was igniting a Molotov cocktail when he was shot.
The video, however, shows that the first shot does not hit the kneeling man, but rather another Palestinian man, Nader Rimawi. Nader told the AP that the object was a stack of cardboard boxes and scraps of paper that 17-year-old Osaid Rimawi had gathered and was preparing to light to keep the men warm.
Other videos of the shooting posted to social media and reviewed by AP appear consistent with Nader’s description of the object Osaid was preparing to light. It is possible videos taken from other angles could further illuminate what happened.