Israel police sack officer for headbutting and beating Palestinian

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A spokesperson described the incident as going 'against all the values' of the Jerusalem police

Israeli police man a checkpoint in Jerusalem (AFP)
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Last update: 
Thursday 20 April 2017 16:08 UTC
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An Israeli policeman caught on video beating up a Palestinian truck driver in east Jerusalem last month has been fired from the force, police said on Thursday.

The video, widely circulated on social media, shows the uniformed officer curse the driver, then headbutt him in the face and kick him in the legs.

The officer continues to beat the Palestinian as he grasps his head and doubles over, with further blows to the stomach and head.

Israeli-Palestinian MP Ahmad Tibi called for the officer’s prosecution, while politicians were outraged at the footage.

Twitter users responded, many claiming that the attack was not surprising.

Several Palestinian workers are seen attempting to defuse the situation, causing the officer to kick out towards them violently, shouting "get out of here, all of you".

The driver later told Israel Radio: "He didn’t give me a chance to speak. I was afraid he would shoot me."

Thursday's police statement said the officer was notified of the decision on Wednesday and his dismissal would take effect within 14 days.

"It was an exceptional and violent incident which goes against all the values of the Israel police," it said.

"A policeman who behaves in such a manner has no place in the Israel police." 

A Palestinian witness filmed the incident, which took place in a car park near the interior ministry in the Wadi Joz area of annexed east Jerusalem, and handed a copy to an Israeli journalist.

The witness said the policeman had accused the driver of having damaged his car with the truck.

Shortly after the incident the police condemned the attack and suspended the officer.

The incident comes during ongoing unrest and sporadic violence.

A wave of street attacks by Palestinians in Israel, Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank since October 2015 has killed 37 Israelis, two American tourists and a British student.

At least 243 Palestinians have died in the same period.

Israel says at least 163 of the Palestinians killed had launched stabbing, shooting or car ramming attacks. Others died during clashes and protests.

Israel has accused the Palestinian leadership of inciting the violence.

The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, denies incitement and charges that in many cases, Israel has used excessive force in thwarting attackers armed with rudimentary weapons.