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Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 15:58 UK

Israeli shooter sent back to unit

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Footage released by an Israeli human rights group

An Israeli soldier detained after being filmed opening fire at a bound and blindfolded Palestinian from close range has been released from custody.

The soldier was sent back to his unit after lawyers argued he did not pose a danger to anyone, Israeli reports said.

He was shown firing a rubber coated bullet at the detainee's foot as other soldiers stand around watching.

The footage was taken by a Palestinian girl living nearby and released Israeli human rights campaigners.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak condemned the incident saying it was "grave and wrong" and that the military would exact the full extent of the law.

Human rights group B'Tselem released the footage on Sunday. The shooting happened two weeks earlier in Nilin in the West Bank, scene of frequent Palestinian anti-occupation demonstrations.

Israeli press reports say the soldier told investigators that his commander had told him to shoot the Palestinian, who has been identified as Ashraf Abu Rahma.

The Israeli army issued a statement calling the incident "grave" and in "direct contradiction" of its values.

Mr Abu Rahma was treated for a bruised toe by army medics and has not filed a complaint with the military.

B'Tselem has distributed dozens of cameras to West Bank Palestinians with the aim of recording human rights abuses by the Israeli army and Jewish settlers.

Last month, it released footage showing an apparent assault by masked stick-wielding settlers against Palestinian farmers.


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