The Israeli military is investigating Mor Ostrovski, a 20-year-old Israeli soldier for uploading a photograph of a Palestinian boy’s head in the crosshairs of his sniper rifle on Instagram, The Guardian reports. Ostrovski denies taking the picture, insisting that he found the photograph on the Internet.
A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Force (IDF) said that Ostrovski’s actions “are not in accordance with the spirit of the IDF or its values.” Ostrovski has since shutdown his Instagram account, and his commanders have been notified.
Breaking the Silence, an Israeli army veterans group critical of their government’s policies toward the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, stated that the image reflected “the abuse of power rooted in the military control of another people.”
While the authenticity of the photograph is still questioned, the image has received ample criticism online. A news site dedicated to Palestinian issues, The Electronic Intifada, condemned the image as “tasteless and dehumanizing.” The news site published some of Ostrovski’s other images, including photographs of himself posing with various weapons.
This is not the first case of members of the Israeli military posting controversial content on social media sites. Several years ago, a female IDF soldier posted revealing images of herself with Palestinian detainees. In December, The Electronic Intifada caught Israeli soldier Nisim Asis posting racist images on Instagram. One such photograph portrayed Asis licking a blood-colored substance off of a knife. The photograph boasted the caption: “Fuck all Arabs their blood is tasty.”
Another soldier in the infantry corp uploaded a picture of himself beside a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian on Facebook. The Israeli soldier received a 14-day sentence in military prison.
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