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Cellphone Video Captures Gaza Civilian Reportedly Shot and Killed by Sniper

A man searching for his family in his bombed-out neighborhood was shot and wounded by a sniper — and then shot and killed where he lay.

UPDATE — July 22, 3:10pm ET: The man reportedly shot and killed in the video has been identified by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) as Salem Khalil Salem Shammaly, a 23-year-old resident of Shujaiyeh.

Video shows Palestinian children being rescued from rubble after airstrike. Watch here.

VICE News is on the ground reporting from Gaza and Israel. Watch here.

"He was trying to reach his home in an attempt to find family members," ISM member Joe Catron, who was at the scene, told VICE News. "He couldn't reach any of them over the phone. The cellphone network has been down in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood since the invasion began. We haven't been able to reach anyone there.


"We were in an area with rescue workers from the municipality. He knew we were with ISM and asked us to go along with him. We were pretty deep into Shujaiyeh, near the buffer zone. There was a clear column of sight from the buffer zone toward [Shammaly]. If anyone stepped into the sniper's line of sight, they risked getting hit. None of us could do anything to help him."

Video of aftermath of Israeli strike on Gaza's only power plant emerges. Watch here.

Rina Andolini, another ISM activist in the video, told VICE News, “No doubt if we tried to retrieve the body we would have been shot too. He was not moving when we left the scene.”

When reached for comment, a spokeswoman for the IDF told VICE News they were aware of the video and were unable to confirm or deny the allegations that it was an Israeli sniper. "Given the current scope of the operation, there is no way at this time to confirm the circumstances depicted,” the IDF spokeswoman told VICE News in a statement.

In photos: Gaza morgue inundated with bodies.

Today, Shammaly's cousin tweeted that he had identified his cousin's body in the video, along with Shammaly's sister, and was trying to retrieve it.

walking in the — Mohammed Alqattawi ? (@m_alqattawi)July 22, 2014

this is the video of shooting my cousin.. we feel proud and his family also — Mohammed Alqattawi ? (@m_alqattawi)July 22, 2014

ISM is a pro-Palestinian activist organization that has a presence in the West Bank and Gaza.



A video emerged Monday that is described as showing a Palestinian man repeatedly shot and ultimately killed by a sniper while he searched for his family in the devastated neighborhood of Shujaiyeh.

The man, wearing a green shirt and black pants, was reportedly shot by a sniper while trying to cross an alleyway in between two buildings. Soon after, he is shot by two additional rounds while on the ground.

The attack occurred as volunteers and rescue crews were attempting to uncover bodies during an announced ceasefire after a day of the most intense violence and destruction so far in the 14-day operation. The activist organization International Solidarity Movement, which shot and uploaded the video online, described it in a statement:

The Israeli military just shot a Gazan man trying to reach his family, during an announced ceasefire. He was with a group of municipality workers and international human rights defenders who were attempting to retrieve injured people in the Shujaiya neighborhood…. They shot him, and then continued to fire as he was on the ground. We had no choice but to retreat. We couldn’t reach him due to the artillery fire and then he stopped moving.

Human rights organizations and international bodies have criticized Israel for the mounting civilian death toll since the military operation began in Gaza two weeks ago. Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said in a statement yesterday, “Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza strip, the majority of the dead and wounded in Gaza are civilians, and medical workers are also coming under fire.”

MSF also reported instances of the Israeli military shelling or shooting at paramedics and ambulances. The United Nations has documented that the vast majority of those killed in this onslaught have been civilians, including almost 100 children.

It's Déjà Vu in Gaza All Over Again. Read more here.

Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter: @obecker928