Video footage released by Palestinian media shows an Israeli police unit shooting a sponge round from short range at chest of a Palestinian paramedic trying to treat a wounded detainee
The incident dates back to Thursday, 11 November 2021, where more than 100 people attended a demonstration marking the anniversary of Yasser ‘Arafat’s death near the northern entrance to the town of al-Birah.
During the demonstration, some protesters burned tires, blocked several roads and threw stones at about 20 Border Police officers who were deployed in the area.
The officers fired tear gas canisters, rubber-coated metal bullets and sponge rounds at the protesters.
According to UN figures, 15 protesters were injured by “rubber” bullets and sponge rounds, and 25 suffered tear gas inhalation.
During the protests, an Israeli soldier fired a “rubber” bullet that hit one of the protesters in the leg.
Two Israeli soldiers went over to the wounded man to arrest him as he sat on the ground.
Muhammad ‘Omar, a 28-year-old volunteer paramedic from Bitunya who was wearing a reflective EMT vest, tried to get to the man too, in order to give him first aid.
However, Israeli Occupation forces forcefully lifting the wounded man to his feet, and then he and the other soldier lead him away as ‘Omar tries to free him from their grasp.
One of the soldiers’ hits ‘Omar in the face and, seconds later, fires a sponge round at his chest from several meters away.
Omar falls to the ground, and the soldiers leave with the detainee. Omar was then taken to hospital in Ramallah, where he was treated and discharged after several hours.
Israel has been repeatedly criticised by international human rights groups for using excessive force against anti-occupation weekly protesters.