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Watch Israeli kicking knife towards dead Palestinian body

An image grab from a video released by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, showing the dead body of Palestinian Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif.

Newly footage related to the March shooting death of an injured Palestinian by an Israeli soldier apparently shows a person at the scene kicking a knife towards the corpse on the ground in an attempt to justify the execution.

On March 24, Israeli Sergeant Elor Azaria was caught on camera fatally shooting unarmed Palestinian Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif in the head in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron). The victim had already been shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers for an alleged stabbing attack.

Azaria is now standing trial for manslaughter, but his attorneys have claimed that he shot Sharif because he feared the victim would use the knife to stab other people.

The new video was released on Wednesday by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem during a session of Azaria’s manslaughter trial.

In the footage, the knife, lying three to four meters away from the dead body, can be seen being moved slightly by the ambulance as its tire runs over it. The knife is then deliberately kicked much closer to Sharif’s body by a person whose face is not seen.

Prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Nadav Weisman, a lead investigator in the Israeli military, said Sharif is claimed to have “moved his hand towards a knife near his hand, but we will show that this claim is a false claim.”

“There is a very clear documentation of the knifes location before the shooting and after the shooting and it is far from the attacker’s hand. The defendants only answer is that he does not believe the BTselem video, and that the knife was documented by others as well, and we will show this to the court,” Weisman said.

Relatives and friends chant slogans during the funeral of Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on May 28, 2016. ©AFP

The March 24 shooting was sharply condemned by the Palestinian government. The UN special envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, and several rights groups also described the incident as an “extrajudicial execution.”

However, a number of Israeli military officials had claimed that the Israeli trooper had acted in self-defense.

The Israeli military returned Sharif’s body to his family on March 27. A large funeral ceremony was held for the young victim a day later in al-Khalil, where hundreds of Palestinian mourners chanted slogans against the repressive regime in Tel Aviv.

Observers say the newly-released footage is likely to escalate the already tense situation in the occupied West Bank, which has been the scene of clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters since October 2015.

The tensions were triggered in protest at Israeli restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.

At least 213 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October.

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