Video shows moment Israeli sniper shoots Palestinian footballer in the knee, ending his career

Mohammed Khalil needs knee replacement surgery if he is to walk again

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 04 April 2018 16:18 BST
Video shows exact moment Palestinian footballer Mohammed Khalil Obeid is shot in the knee, ending his career

A Palestinian football player filmed the moment he appears to get shot in the knee, destroying the joint and his career.

Mohammed Khalil, who played for a football club in the Gaza Strip, was apparently shot by an Israeli soldier as he protested near the border last week.

Footage of the shooting was posted on Twitter by the Palestinian journalist Mohammed Kareem. Mr Kareem said Mr Khalil now needs knee replacement surgery in order to be able to walk again.

Describing the footage on Twitter, he said: “My friend and the Palestinian footballer Mohammed Khalil, a player in Al-Salah FC, was shot in his knee by an Israeli sniper while he was protesting peacefully in the #GreatReturnMarch.

“That racist terrorist bullet put an end to his football career.”

Responding to a request for more information about who took the video, Mr Kareem said: “No, as it clear, Mohammed Khalil who was shot was filming himself.

“He is a friend of mine and a neighbour of mine. He gave it to me exclusively and I edited it and tweet it.”

Mr Kareem also posted a photo of Mr Khalil in hospital, and later a picture of him in his home.

“Heal quick my friend,” he said.

Last Friday, 18 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire gunfire in Gaza, making it the bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 war between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas.

More than 750 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire, according to Gaza health officials.

The Palestinians’ ambassador at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, told the Security Council the number of wounded was over 1,500, including more than 750 by live ammunition and 148 by rubber-coated steel bullets.

The Israeli military has claimed, without elaborating, it believes the figure was overblown and that dozens, at most, were wounded by live rounds.

Mr Mansour appealed to the UN Security Council for immediate international protection for Palestinian civilians, especially in Gaza.

He argued Israel had adopted “a shoot-to-kill policy” during what he called peaceful protests.

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s defence minister, said the military will not change its tough response to Hamas-led mass protests near Gaza’s border with Israel.

Mr Lieberman warned those who approach the border are putting their lives at risk.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians began a six-week-long protest in tent encampments set up along the fenced border of the Israeli-blockaded Gaza strip.

They are pressing for a right to return for refugees to the villages and towns where their families lived before 1948, in what is now Israel.

The Israeli military said its troops used live fire only against people trying to sabotage the fence or rolling burning tyres and throwing rocks.

Palestinian organisers said they had called for a peaceful protest and Hamas denied its fighters had fired on Israeli forces, using the crowds as cover, though it said five of the dead were members of its armed wing.

Mr Lieberman characterised most of those killed last week as “terrorists that we know well who are active in the armed wing of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. They were not innocent civilians who were part of a civil protest.”

Human Rights Watch said Israel has presented no evidence rock-throwing or other violence seriously threatened the soldiers on the other side of the fence.

“The high number of deaths and injuries was the foreseeable consequence of granting soldiers leeway to use lethal force outside of life-threatening situations in violation of international norms, coupled with the longstanding culture of impunity within the Israeli army for serious abuses,” the group said.

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