Israeli soldiers steal fruit from a Palestinian market vendor during clashes in Hebron. pic.twitter.com/lS6cWAaNHZ— Alexandra Halaby (@iskandrah) December 9, 2017
An Israeli army commander has reportedly been suspended after he was filmed stealing fruit from a Palestinian vendor amid violent demonstrations in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The sergeant was filmed by another stall owner, who was hiding in a nearby spot as clashes broke out in Hebron, West Bank, between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital.
After taking apples from an abandoned stall, the soldier shared them with two of his comrades.
However, it wasn't exactly the soldier's actions that shocked the internet.
No, it was, instead, the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) swift response to the incident that prompted widespread reaction on the web.
Soon after the video of the fruit theft took the web by storm, the IDF tweeted it did not condone the soldiers behavior and he was "suspended from duty and punished."
Today, during operational activity in Hebron, an IDF commander took fruit from a Palestinian's stand. The IDF does not condone this behavior. The incident was investigated and the commander was suspended from duty and punished— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) December 9, 2017
The announcement unleashed a barrage of criticism against Israeli military and law-enforcement forces, which, over the years, have never punished actions such as:
- "unnecessary force to arrest or detain Palestinian children as young as 11,"
- choking and throwing stun grenades at them,
- beating them in custody,
- and threatening and interrogating them without the presence of parents or lawyers, according to Human Rights Watch.
In addition, the IDF plays an active part in demolishing the homes of Palestinians who have lived for decades in the region. Just in November, the army ordered some 300 Palestinians in the northern Jordan Valley to remove all their property from the area, which, the locals believe, is an evacuation and demolition order.
While the IDF's suspension of the fruit thief soldier was, perhaps, the right call, let's not forget the Israeli military forces have committed far worse and inhumane abuses for decades and continue to commit them unabashedly.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters