An Israeli police officer physically assaulted and injured several Palestinians in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz on Thursday morning, a video filmed by an eye witness showed.
The video shows a plainclothes police officer aggressively verbally confronting a Palestinian truck driver after the latter allegedly hit the officer’s car.
Over the course of the nearly two-minute long video, the officer proceeds to headbutt, slap, punch, kick, and knee the truck driver in the lower abdomen.
Al-Tawil said that he tried to intervene once the officer began assaulting the truck driver, only for the Israeli officer to hit him several times in the head and stomach, injuring al-Tawil in the eye.
The video then goes on to show at least two other Israeli police officers arriving at the scene, before the first officer violently kicks the Palestinian truck driver in the back as he attempted to enter his vehicle.
Al-Tawil said that three Israeli special forces officers arrived at the scene at the time when the video cut off, and assaulted Palestinian men present at the scene, pulling their guns on them while the first Israeli officer went on to assault the truck driver.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri claimed in a statement that the video showed “dangerous and unordinary individual behavior” that did not reflect the usual conduct of Israeli police forces.
Al-Samri said that the first police officer was immediately suspended from his duties pending an internal police investigation.
Despite al-Samri’s statement, Palestinians have long claimed that Israeli forces abuse their position of power to verbally and physically humiliate and assault Palestinians on a regular basis.
Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have reported numerous cases of Israeli forces physically assaulting Palestinians in the city, including security guards at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
In August, Israeli forces reportedly assaulted 11 Palestinians in two separate incidents in the Old City of East Jerusalem.
Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem routinely report mistreatment by Israeli forces, with Israeli authorities cracking down on Palestinian youths in recent years, while Palestinians have often accused Israeli forces of detaining Palestinian youths without any evidence of wrongdoing, and assaulting them in the process.