A video released by an israel human rights group which depicts an Israeli soldier firing a rubber-coated bullet at the feet of a prisoner who was blindfolded and had his hands bound, is an example of the horror of war, but it also reveals a strength of Israeli democracy. The prisoner, Ashraf Abu Rahmeh, was slightly hurt by the shot and was immediately treated at the scene of the incident. In a statement to the press, the Israeli military termed the incident a “stark violation” of its rules of conduct and safety and said military police were investigating.
Israel’ Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, condemned the soldier’s conduct and said the incident “is atypical and unacceptable and does not represent the Israel Defense Forces or its values.” The soldier claimed he fired at the prisoner’s foot on the order of an officer, but the officer insists he only told him to shake the rifle.
We believe this incident represents the strength of Israel democracy. The army and the nation of Israel condemned having a rubber-coated bullet fired at the foot of a prisoner. This demonstrates there is a healthy democracy alive in Israel. In how many nations of the world would a soldier be reprimanded in such a manner and in how many would the head of the armed forces make known his displeasure? It is difficult to imagine Hamas or Hizbullah apologizing for shooting at the foot of a captured Israeli soldier.