The Full Story about the IDF Sniper Viral Video Blood Libel

by Avi Abelow

I have to admit this video looks horrible. But the media never bothered to find out the facts. The IDF sniper had every right to shoot that terrorist. An 80 second video gives no context to judge a soldier defending a border against violence and infiltration.

It definitely looks bad. You watch and hear the celebration of an IDF soldier as a sniper takes down a protester. The media around the world jump on this and make Israel look horrible immediately.  But first, they ought to look at the facts.

No Context

First of all, all you see in the video is 80 seconds of an IDF sniper shot. There is no context. We don’t know what the victim did before. Nothing in this short video informs us as to why he was designated to be shot.  We don’t receive any information as to what the soldiers have been going through either. Maybe that victim injured one of their buddies a few moments earlier.

All we see is 80 seconds of an IDF sniper shoot and someone celebrating the successful shot.

The media outcry against Israel is based on those 80 seconds – period.   What about the greater context?

Audio Ignored

The other issue ignored by the media is that the video recording includes a commander giving the order to shoot. This is not a “rogue” sniper shooting an innocent protestor. This is a video showcasing the very controlled process of the IDF. A sniper is only allowed to shoot when the order is given from above. To further this context from the video itself, one hears the sniper saying ‘I can’t shoot because there is a child in the way’. This further enforces the proof that the IDF is careful and precise in its use of shooting, so as to only harm the intended terrorist targets.

To sum up, the ultimate problem with the video is not that a sniper shot a terrorist. The problem is how bad it looks that an IDF soldier celebrated upon the victim being shot by the sniper. The video definitely doesn’t look or sound good, and it also made Israel look horrible in the world media. However, it was a blood libel against Israel because of a word, an alleged celebration of a soldier upon seeing a successful terrorist shot by a sniper.

Now for the Facts

After an investigation from the IDF it was revealed that this video was shot a number of months ago when there were organized protests and terror at the Gaza border fence. Gaza Arabs were throwing stones, throwing firebombs and sabotaging the border fence.

Israel’s Channel 2 News reported that the shot was carried out after several failed attempts to disperse the violent riot, including a public announcement, a call to stop, and shooting in the air. This sniper shot was a last resort after all previous efforts to stop the violence had failed. The 80 second video only shows us the very end of this episode, without everything else that led to that moment.

Also, as opposed to the media reporting, the Arab who was shot in the video was not killed, only wounded in the leg. He had been warned repeatedly before the shot, according to the preliminary investigation of the incident.

The IDF sniper was then ordered to shoot a single bullet at the terrorist. He was suspected of organizing and leading the violent protest. Hence he was singled out for the shot in order to then end the violent protest.

Official IDF Response

“In the course of this breach of the public order, many measures were taken to disperse it, including a public announcement and a call to stop, the use of means to disperse demonstrations, and firing in the air,” the IDF spokesman’s unit said. “After none of these efforts had been successful, a single bullet was fired at an individual suspected of organizing and leading the disturbance, and only when he had been a few meters from the fence.”

The video was not shot from the sniper’s post, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s office, and was taken by a “soldier who did not belong organically to the force” that carried out the shooting.

The Spokesperson’s office criticized the conduct of the soldiers who videotaped the incident: “As to the unauthorized shooting of an operational event, as well as the distribution of the photographed material and the statements that can be heard in it, it should be noted that these do not befit the spirit and the degree of restraint expected of IDF soldiers and will be dealt with on the command level accordingly.”


Neither the murder of the Gaza journalist or the sniper shooting were mistakes. Yet the world media uses them to make Israel look horrible. Hamas gets a huge PR win.

That is not to say that mistakes don’t happen. Every army in the world sometimes makes mistakes, including IDF soldiers.

However, the world media, including Israeli media, do not give Israel, the IDF or Israeli soldiers a fair treatment. The rush to condemn Israel on every little occurrence, even when justified, is proof that the world is looking to condemn Israel, whether the story fits the narrative or not. This is the reality we deal with and Hamas wins the pr war everytime and gets away literally with “murder”.

Col. Kemp

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