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ISM report: Father of girl who filmed Israeli soldier shoot bound Palestinian arrested

July 23, 2008 9:59 P.M. (Updated: July 23, 2008 9:59 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli army have arrested the father of the girl who filmed the 7 July incident where an Israeli soldier shot a Palestinian man, who was handcuffed and had his feet bound together. The man was shot at close range as an Israeli commander watched.

On Wednesday, the girl's father Jamal Hussein Amirra was arrested.

The arrest occurred today near the Palestinian village of Ni'lin, north of Ramallah, where villagers were peacefully protesting the construction of the separation wall. Today's protest was a women's only event, and Amirra was watching away from the actual protest.

When the Israeli army attacked the unarmed women, Amirra went in to protect the demonstrators, while Victor MacDiarmid, a Canadian citizen, took photographs. The two men were arrested within minutes.

Interviewed on Palestinian TV this morning, the 14 year old girl expressed concern that her family would be targeted by the Israeli army due her film being publicized. Her footage was broadcast throughout the world and has caused shock waves in Israel, where a soldier has been arrested and an official investigation launched.

Victor MacDiarmid is from Kingston, Ontario, and has twice been shot by rubber-coated steel bullets while attempting to take in supplies to Ni'lin during a recent a four-day Israeli army blockade of the village.

The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem released the original report of the incident and the existence of the film on Sunday.

The film shows Ashraf Abu Rahma a 27-year-old Palestinian demonstrator handcuffed and blindfolded a soldier aims his weapon at the demonstrator's legs from about 1.5 meters away, and fires a rubber coated steel bullet at him. Abu-Rahma said that the bullet hit his left toe, after which he received treatment from an army medic, and was released by the soldiers.

Residents of Ni'lin told B'Tselem that they saw the soldier the following day, still serving in his unit.

B'Tselem immediately forwarded a copy of the film to the Military Police Investigation Unit commander, with the demand that an immediate Military Police investigation be opened and that the Israeli personnel involved be brought to justice. The soldier was questioned, and claimed that he received a directive to shoot at the Palestinian from his commander who was present at the time. However, the commander has denied giving the order, asserting that he just asked the soldier to point his rifle at the prisoner in order to scare the hand-cuffed young man. He claims not to have seen the incident despite appearing in the video.

The soldier was released to active duty on Tuesday.

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