Jadallah al-Jabari, a Palestinian, is a 50 year old retired garbage collector living in the West Bank town of Hebron. Hebron has been under "military curfew" by the Israeli military since fighting and tensions between Israel and Palestine intensified in September. He passed by a military checkpoint on Monday, as he did every day, about 8:50 am.

This time an Associate Press Television News cameraman, a Palestinian who was not identified, was at the checkpoint. He was filming, but turned away soon after an Israeli soldier began questioning al-Jabari because nothing out of the ordinary was happening. It was then that two shots were fired. The cameraman did not capture the gunman or the shooting on film, but he did film the aftermath.

I’m not posting this to highlight the atrocities of one side or another. I’m posting this because it’s a rare firsthand unbiased look at a type of tragedy that has unfortunately become a daily occurrence in that part of the world and a glimpse of the lives of everyday victims caught in the middle. I guess I could pontificate on how bad the whole situation is and wish for peace and all that, but words seem inadequate.

Al-Jabari is now hospitalized in Jerusalem and doctors are unsure whether or not his leg can be saved. The army is investigating the incident.

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Events surrounding the shooting of a Palestinian man, Jadallah al-Jabari, by an Israeli soldier Monday in an area of the West Bank town of Hebron that was under curfew:

At about 8:50 a.m. al-Jabari, on foot, approached an Israeli soldier at a barrier of concrete blocks. An Associated Press Television News cameraman filmed the events.

Except as noted, al-Jabari spoke Arabic and the soldiers spoke Hebrew.


ISRAELI SOLDIER: Where are you going?

AL-JABARI: Why are you asking me (repeating the Hebrew phrase) 'Where are you going?'

SOLDIER (making a questioning hand motion): Where are you going?

Footage stops, resumes again from some distance away. Loud shouts from al-Jabari can be heard. Camera zooms in on him lying on the ground.

AL-JABARI (holding up his leg, his foot hanging by shreds of bloody tissue): Aay! Damn you! God!

FROM THE DISTANCE (in Hebrew): What happened?

AL-JABARI (throwing his bloody handkerchief at one of two soldiers standing nearby): Aay! Aay!

FIRST SOLDIER: He's been shot in the leg.

They stand by for a few seconds. One talks inaudibly on a walkie-talkie. They approach the cameraman.

SOLDIER: Get out of here.

CAMERAMAN (in Hebrew): Why?

SOLDIER (placing hand over lens): What are you doing here? Show me some identification.

SECOND SOLDIER (pausing from conversation on walkie-talkie): Leave him alone.

ANOTHER SOLDIER (in background): What happened here? Who shot him in the leg?

Two other soldiers come into view. One bends down to al-Jabari and begins treating him.

SOLDIER (off camera): What happened?

SECOND SOLDIER: We came here...(inaudible)

Al-Jabari moans, strikes ground with one fist.

SOLDIER (treating him): Be quiet, be quiet.

Al-Jabari, waving his hands, pushes soldier's M-16 off his shoulder.

SOLDIER: Leave it alone.

SOLDIER IN BACKGROUND: (inaudible): ...shot in the leg.

AL-JABARI (moaning, making threatening hand gesture common among Arabs): Who shot me?

SOLDIER (arriving, out of breath): Who's the medic? (Ordering) Treat him.

Footage stops momentarily, then again shows al-Jabari on ground.

AL-JABARI (on ground, to soldier treating him): God damn your mother, she's a whore.

SOLDIER: Be quiet. Be quiet.

Three people bend over him. Al-Jabari swears again.

SOLDIER: Did he try to stab someone?

MEDIC (not in uniform): No, no.

Al-Jabari swears again.

SOLDIER (in Arabic, then Hebrew): Shut up. Shut up.

Footage stops, then resumes with soldiers preparing to put al-Jabari on a stretcher. He has 9:05 printed on his forehead, to signify time tourniquet was applied.

SOLDIER (into walkie-talkie): It appears from my check that we will need to amputate his leg.

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