Animation linking rifle positioning to detainee in spectrum of potential positions.

The incident took place on 7 July, in Ni’lin, a village in the West Bank. The detainee, a Palestinian demonstrator, Ashraf Abu Rahma, was stopped by soldiers, who cuffed and blindfolded him for about thirty minutes before the incident occurred. Ashraf recounted that a group of soldiers and border policemen led him to an army jeep. The video clip shows a soldier aim his weapon at the demonstrator’s legs, from about 1.5 meters away, and fire a rubber coated steel bullet at him. Abu-Rahma stated that the bullet grazed his left toe, received treatment from an army medic, and was released by the soldiers.

The footage of the incident was captured by a Palestinian girl from Nil’in filmed from her house in the village. The girl gave B’tselem a copy of the footage. B’tselem, in turn, asked Situ Studio to create a spatial reconstruction of the footage positioning all actors in order to create a definitive reconstruction of the chain of events. The following diagrams and animations represent a portion of the analysis that was undertaken for this incident. Despite what appears to be very incriminating footage, the analysis was inconclusive and could only provide a range of positions for the position of the detainee – an insufficient level of accuracy to definitively establish whether or not the soldiers was aiming directly at the Abu Rahma’s feet or 2 meters behind as the defense claimed

A. Diagram identifying positions of rifle in elevation as extrapolated from video frame immediately preceding discharge of weapon.  Note: a survey of the site was not available for this analysis and the ground between M2 and D1 has been assumed to be flat for the sake of this analysis.

B. Axonometric view of scene illustrating known positions of shooter and possible positions of detainee based on  video footage of event. Dashed lines connecting plane of camera view with positions of D1, M3 and M4 shall serve as axis along which exist possible positions for these three individuals.



C. Alternate axonometric view locating key elements.  Position of M2 has been established definitively from available photographic and video documentation. Positions of D1, M3 and M4 shown on this page represent possible locations and are not definitive.



D. 3 possible locations of detainee are overlayed on  a .5 meter grid shown as scenarios D1A, D1B and D1C respectively.  In scenario D1A the trajectory of the bullet passes the outside of detainee’s left leg at a height ranging from the top of his knee to the lower part of his shin and strikes the ground .75 – 1.75 meters behind him.  In Scenario D1B the bullet strikes in the vicinity of detainees feet. In scenario D1C the bullet strikes the ground 1 – 1.25 meters in front of him.