Israel’s prime minister is facing criticism from Israeli opposition leaders over his handling of the death of a Palestinian teenager who was shot dead by a soldier in the West Bank.
The death of 15-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir on Saturday came amid growing tension between the Israeli and Palestinian factions, which have clashed over Jerusalem and the disputed status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The Israeli army said it was conducting an investigation into the incident and that the soldier had been suspended for two years.
The military said in a statement that it would “take appropriate action” in the wake of the incident.
Abu Khdeirs mother, Ziyad Abu Khdair, condemned the soldier’s actions as “absolutely barbaric.”
The Israeli-Arab nationalist party Habayit Hayehudi called for an investigation in light of the killing, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said it would ask the army to open an inquiry into the soldier.
Netanyahu is the prime minister of Israel and was sworn in in January after serving for more than a decade as the country’s longest-serving prime minister.
He is a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party and is considered a centrist in Israeli politics.
The army has been grappling with the question of whether to use lethal force against the 17-year old boy.
A video posted online by the army’s public affairs office showed a soldier firing two shots into the air before lying on the ground and kneeling on the grass.
An unidentified officer then emerges from a house and appears to shoot him.
The video shows the soldier kneeling in a fetal position and lying down in a prone position.
The officer later fires another shot, and a second soldier can be heard in the background saying, “he’s dead.”
Abu Shaban, the chief of the Israeli Police Force, told Israel’s Army Radio that he was “very surprised” by the shooting, which he described as “very brutal.”
“I can say for sure that the Israeli public is shocked by this act and by the killing,” he said.
“It’s the worst crime of our time.”
Israel’s military said on Sunday that the soldiers who fired the shots were being investigated and that they will face disciplinary action if found to have violated any rules.
Abuse of children by soldiers has been a major problem in Israel since the 1980s, when Israel’s military took control of much of the West of the country.
In recent years, some soldiers have been disciplined for excessive use of force, including for shooting children.
The killings of the 15-yr-old and three other young Palestinians have brought renewed calls for the army and the prime minster to reform the countrys security forces.
The military’s internal watchdog, the Independent Military Commission for the Protection of the Civilian Population, released a report in September accusing soldiers of mistreating Palestinians and civilians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The report also accused the army of failing to investigate complaints of sexual abuse and of failing “to protect the lives of the young victims.”
In its report, the commission called on the army “to investigate all complaints of abuse by its soldiers, including sexual abuse of children.”
The government has said it will hold an inquiry as soon as possible, and the army has said that it will be conducting its own investigation into Abu Khdes killing.
The army said in September that it is taking disciplinary action against a soldier involved in the incident, and that it was also investigating the soldier who shot the teen.
The IDF said in August that it has increased security in areas of the occupied territories, and said that the security measures will be extended to the occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank, as well as to Gaza.
In the past year, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have faced increasing attacks, and some Israeli politicians have accused the IDF of failing them, saying the military has failed to protect them and their homes.
In the West Banks, however, Israel has not made any public comment on the issue.
In recent months, the army is facing growing criticism for its failure to protect Palestinians and to hold violent demonstrations in the Occupied Territories.
In September, a court ordered the IDF to allow the release of more than 700 Palestinian detainees.
The court ordered that the prisoners be freed as soon the army can conduct an investigation, which it has so far failed to do.