The Israeli human rights organization recently released a report on the Israeli army’s increased use of 0.22 caliber bullets against Palestinian youth at clashes and demonstrations. A few years back I was asked by B’Tselem to testify about the shootings I had witnessed on the streets of Bethlehem, particularly in Aida Refugee Camp. This post for +972 Magazine is the first time I’ve publicly gone into detail about several instances I witnessed of youth shot by Israeli snipers:
Why the Israeli military uses a silenced rifle as a crowd control weapon is puzzling and counter-intuitive. But as eyewitness to several incidents of their use on the streets of Bethlehem, I can testify that there is absolutely no audible gunshot. As one advertiser of such weapons accurately boasts, from the perspective of the shooter, “the only noise you will hear is the firing pin hitting and then, the ‘smack’ on the target.”
From the perspective of those on the receiving end, the only warnings that these shots have been fired are the sound of the bullet whizzing by and hitting the ground — or the shouts of people hit crying out for help.