Footage surfaces of Israeli sniper shooting Palestinian man as soldiers cheer

Footage surfaced on Monday of an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) sniper shooting a Palestinian man by a Gaza border fence, while IDF soldiers are heard cheering in the background. 

"Son of a bitch!" a soldier is heard yelling in the video as the Palestinian man is shot and falls, as reported by CNN. "What a legendary film! I haven't seen this kind of thing for a long time."

ADVERTISEMENT

The IDF said the footage was taken on Dec. 22, amid protests in the region surrounding President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.  

The identity and condition of the Palestinian who was shot are currently unknown. 

The video has been a top story in Israel this week as it gained international attention. 

The IDF said in a statement to CNN that an inquiry into the incident would be conducted and that the yelling heard in the footage "[does] not suit the degree of restraint expected of IDF soldiers and will be dealt by commanders accordingly."

"The video depicts a short part of the response to a violent riot, which included rock hurling and attempts to sabotage the security fence, and lasted about two hours. During the riot, means were taken in order to disperse it, including verbal warnings and calls to halt, using riot dispersal means and firing warning shots into the air," the statement said. 

"After none of these were successful, a single bullet was fired towards one of the Palestinians who is suspected of organizing and leading this incident, while he was a few meters from the fence. He was hit in the leg and injured. The video was not filmed from the position of the shooting, and was filmed by a soldier who was not part of the unit of the soldiers who fired."
 
However, Israel's defense minister praised the sniper's conduct, saying he should be rewarded. 
 
"The sniper deserves a medal, and the photographer deserves a demotion," Avigdor Liberman said on Tuesday. 
 
"The IDF is the most moral army in the world, but there can be no doubt when you are at the front and under a lot of tension and there is a need to unwind your nerves, there are emotions and one can understand it."
 
The footage has raised questions about the conduct of IDF soldiers toward Palestinian civilians. 
 
Tensions have been rising around Gaza, where late last month more than a dozen Palestinians died in clashes with the Israeli military.
 
IDF soldiers last week shot and killed Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja, who was wearing a vest labeling him a member of the press.