Photo of Palestinian child in sniper crosshairs triggers uproar

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A photograph appearing to show a Palestinian boy’s head in the crosshairs of a sniper, which an Israeli soldier posted on the social networking website Instagram, has sparked uproar online.

Mor Ostrovski, a soldier in the sniper unit, told the army he found the photograph on the internet, The Guardian newspaper reported Monday.

The 20-year-old has deleted his Instagram account.

“The context of the picture, posted on the personal Instagram site of Mor Ostrovski ... could not be verified but the aggressive message is clear,” the British daily reported.

The soldier’s commanders are investigating the incident, the Israeli military said. His actions “are not in accordance with the spirit of the (Israeli Defense Forces) or its values,” The Guardian quoted a spokesperson as saying.

The photograph sparked intense online criticism. “This is what occupation looks like,” a member of Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that raises awareness of life in the West Bank, said on the group’s Facebook page. “This is what military control over a civilian population looks like.”

News website The Electronic Intifada, which rigorously monitors offensive postings by Israeli soldiers, described the photograph as “tasteless and dehumanizing.”

In a separate incident, an Israeli infantry corps soldier was sentenced to 14 days in army prison recently for posting an image on Facebook of himself alongside a Palestinian who was handcuffed and blindfolded.

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