Israeli officer caught on camera headbutting Palestinian teen, breaking nose


B’Tselem released footage today of an Israeli officer headbutting a Palestinian youth and breaking his nose in the West Bank city of Al-Khalil.

Thair Ghanam, 17, and his group of friends are stopped by an Israeli soldier and ordered to present their identification cards. The opening sequence shows one Israeli soldier threatening to arrest Thair after the teen holds onto the soldier’s arm, but the youth walk away. Moments later, an officer arrives on the scene forcefully grapples with Thair and, at 1:04, headbutts the teen in the nose. The crack of the impact can be distinguished clearly. Seconds later, at 1:26, the officer tries to sweep the feet from beneath Thair who, by now, is bleeding from his nose. The teen is cuffed, blindfolded, and led to a military base where he is later released.

The footage has been marked as age-restricted. For those who might not have access to the clip, I’ve provided screenshots at the end of the post.

This incident comes just days after a UN Special Committee on Israeli practices in the Occupied Territories raised concern over Israel’s treatment and abuse of Palestinian children in detention. Though Thair was detained for only a brief period of time, he suffered an unprovoked blow to the face that ultimately underscores Israel’s heavy-handed policies towards Palestinians.

Thair has received treatment. B’Tselem filed a complaint with the Military Police Investigative Division of the Israeli military.

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