TikTok Challenge Gone Wrong? IDF Soldier Jailed Over Video Showing Him Firing Gun Wildly Into Gaza
15:29 GMT 25.01.2022 (Updated: 17:25 GMT 15.01.2023)
© Photo : @roysharon11/twitterScreen capture from video of an IDF soldier firing across the Israeli-Gaza border in a clip that was posted on the TikTok video-sharing app
© Photo : @roysharon11/twitter
The controversial footage, set to a pumping soundtrack, was flagged by Palestinian groups, who accused social media companies of a double standard when it comes to the censorship of violent content, and by Israelis, who blasted the soldier for his foolish behaviour.
An Israel Defence Forces (IDF) trooper has been sentenced to 10 days in a military prison over a TikTok video of him firing his automatic rifle across a fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip.
“The soldier’s behaviour in the video does not conform with the norms expected of soldiers and commanders,” the IDF said in a statement cited by the Times of Israel. The trooper’s actions "did not align" with the military’s open-fire regulations, according to the military.
The IDF did not provide any further details about the incident, such as the soldier’s name or rank, the date the incident took place, or whether anyone was injured in the episode.
Palestinian and Israeli social media users alike slammed the soldier’s behaviour, with Palestinian commentators criticizing the perceived double standards in coverage of such violent incidents, while Israelis attacked the trooper for being foolish enough to have the incident filmed and put online, and asking why his punishment was so light.
While social media platforms censor the Palestinian content for its "violence", an Israeli soldier is shooting near Gaza, just to take an amusing TikTok video! pic.twitter.com/aLBoMgU6iW— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) January 25, 2022
Since 2000, Edward Said has been roundly criticized in Israel & US for once (symbolically) throwing a rock towards Israel from South Lebanon.— Muhammad Shehada (@muhammadshehad2) January 25, 2022
In 2022, an Israeli solider shooting live fire towards Gaza for a TikTok stunt: 🦗🦗🦗pic.twitter.com/jGi6aKAoKm
“I was detained for 20 days for uploading an album to Facebook entitled ‘Hezbollah Look How Boring We Are’ (there was nothing secret in the album),” one Hebrew-language user complained. “What is 10 days for such serious and dangerous behaviour? A military police investigation is opened for driving a jeep without a permit,” another grumbled. “Ten days? Only ten days? The person who tried and sentenced him to this joke should be sent to jail,” a third chimed in.
“The military needs to get creative with its punishment,” another user wrote, suggesting that soldiers’ smartphones be taken away and replaced with retro Nokia button phones.
The border between Israel and Gaza is one of the most fortified and volatile in the world and regularly becomes the epicentre of clashes between Palestinian protesters and militias and the Israeli military. Between 2018-2019, Gaza residents held a series of protests along the border with Israel demanding the right to return to their former homes. The protests turned violent, with at least 223 Palestinians killed and over 9,200 suffering gunshot or shrapnel injuries as a result of the use of live ammunition and tear gas by Israeli troops. Six IDF soldiers and five civilians were also injured in Hamas rocket and incendiary kite and balloon attacks into southern Israel.
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