Israeli officials defend snipers rejoicing at shooting on video

Israeli officials are defending soldiers recorded cheering after shooting a Palestinian man approaching the fence bordering the Gaza strip.

A Palestinian man holds his national flag as others burn tires to protect themselves from shots of Israeli soldiers at the Israel-Gaza border on Friday. A video from a few months ago shows Israeli snipers cheering as a Palestinian man is shot on the border. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo
A Palestinian man holds his national flag as others burn tires to protect themselves from shots of Israeli soldiers at the Israel-Gaza border on Friday. A video from a few months ago shows Israeli snipers cheering as a Palestinian man is shot on the border. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

In a video clip, Israeli Defense Force soldiers are heard cheering when the sniper shoots at an unarmed protester.

“Wow! What a video!” a soldier is heard saying after the man falls. Another soldier swears.

The soldiers can be heard laughing when describing the man getting shot, with another soldier calling the video “fabulous.”

“Anyone who was ever on the battlefield knows that to sit in Tel Aviv or television studios and judge IDF soldiers according to their comments, when they are busy defending our borders, is not something serious,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday in defense of the soldiers.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan also defended the soldiers, saying they were “under stress.”

“We have reached a level of insanity and delusion,” Erdan said during an interview on Israeli radio. “Was it so boring in this country over the last day that this video needs to receive such exposure?”

“No country in the world does such a thing. It would have been better if the soldiers’ happy reactions were not circulated, but to judge them and conclude something there was wrong, is crazy.”

By Sara Shayanian