A disturbing incident near Hebron in the occupied West Bank has come into the spotlight, following the release of a video showing a mentally disabled Palestinian man being shot by a person in military fatigues. The event, which took place on Tuesday, has sparked fresh concerns over the treatment of Palestinians by Israeli forces.
A Critical Encounter
Tarek Abu Abed, known affectionately as “Ghazzawi,” encountered three men dressed in military fatigues while returning home. According to his brother, Diaa Abu Abed, Tarek, who has special needs, was stopped and asked for identification.
The situation escalated when Tarek, unable to produce any ID, was involved in an argument that tragically ended with him being shot. Diaa Abu Abed, speaking to CNN, identified the assailants as Israeli soldiers. This detail adds a layer of complexity to the incident, given that some Israeli settlers also wear military attire and have access to similar weaponry.
However, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) later confirmed their soldiers' involvement in a confrontation with a mentally disabled man near Hebron. The IDF's Military Police are currently investigating the encounter.
A Video Reveals Harrowing Details
The video, which has been geolocated to near the town of Sidet Qalqas, south of Hebron, shows three men in military fatigues surrounding a man on his hands and knees, next to another individual in a red shirt, identified as Tarek’s friend.
The footage captures a tense scene where Tarek, despite his apparent distress and confusion, is seen being shouted at and then shot, leading to him collapsing in pain. This incident has raised serious questions about the conduct of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.
The reaction of the soldiers, as seen in the video, to a mentally disabled man's inability to comply with their demands, points to a concerning lack of sensitivity and potential breach of protocols in dealing with vulnerable individuals.
The aftermath saw the involvement of the Palestine Red Crescent Society, which transported Tarek to the hospital for treatment of his bullet wound. The broader context of this incident is the ongoing conflict in the region, where, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, at least 256 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or settlers since early October.