The Israel Defense Forces has launched an investigation after a video emerged of an Israeli soldier shooting and wounding a mentally disabled Palestinian near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
Tarek Abu Abed, known to friends and family as “Ghazzawi,” was on his way home Tuesday when he was stopped by three soldiers and asked for identification, Tarek’s brother Diaa Abu Abed told CNN by telephone on Tuesday.
“Anybody who meets Tarek can tell immediately he has special needs,” Diaa Abu Abed said. “His brain works like a child’s does.”
When Tarek Abu Abed told the men that he did not have identification, an argument ensued that culminated in Tarek being shot, according to his brother.
The IDF confirmed to CNN that Israeli soldiers had been involved in the incident shown in the video said its military police were investigating the encounter.
“Based on the initial information available, it appears that during a check that was conducted earlier today near the city of Hebron, a Palestinian was shot in the leg and was evacuated to receive medical treatment,” the IDF said in a statement.
The video, which is filmed down a street from the incident, appears to show the moments after Tarek said he did not have identification. It shows three men in military fatigues standing over a man who is on his hands and knees, and next to a man in a red shirt, identified by Diaa as Tarek’s friend.
“The man in the video wearing red came to defend him to tell the Israeli soldiers that my brother has special needs,” Diaa Abu Abed said. “He’s known amongst the community for his mental disabilities. The soldiers refused to listen.”
The men had their rifles aimed at Tarek Abu Abed, and shouting can be heard. Abu Abed appears to be attempting to stand up as several local residents look on. He then stands up and approaches one of the men, seemingly agitated. A second man then approaches Abu Abed from behind.
A gunshot rings out, and Abu Abed collapses to the ground. He writhes in pain, as two of the men continue to point their weapons at him.
Diaa Abu Abed said that an onlooker called him, and he arrived on the scene soon after.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society said in a statement on Tuesday that it had transported a 34-year-old man with a bullet wound in his leg from Qalqas to the hospital.
Tarek Abu Abed suffered heavy bleeding and has undergone surgery on his leg, his brother said.
The Israel-Hamas war has increasingly spilled over into the West Bank with settler attacks and clashes leaving hundreds of Palestinians dead.
At least 256 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or Israeli settlers in the West Bank and east Jerusalem since October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
This story has been updated to clarify the IDF’s statement of its role in the incident
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