18/02/2013 08:05 GMT | Updated 20/04/2013 06:12 BST

Mor Ostrovski Investigated By Israel Defence Force After Image Of Palestinian Child In Rifle Crosshairs Is Posted On Instagram (PICTURE)

A picture of what appears to be the back of a Palestinian boy's head in the crosshairs of a sniper rifle has been posted on an Instagram account belonging to an Israeli soldier.

The image, believed to have been taken in an Arab village in the West Bank, was uploaded to a page registered to Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldier Mor Ostrovski.

It was later removed but not before it was publicised on the Electronic Intifada website.

This is the image that was posted on the Instagram account belonging to Mor Ostrovski

Palestinian rights activist Ali Abuminah wrote: "There are no other images to suggest that the photographer actually fired at the person in the image in this case.

"The image is simply tasteless and dehumanising. It embodies the idea that Palestinian children are targets."

An IDF spokesman told YnetNews: "The soldier was judged for a moral failure since photographs of this nature falsely represent the IDF and its values.

"Following the photograph, the Military Police ordered an investigation be opened into the incident. Before the investigation began, it was discovered that the soldier was already judged by his commanders.

"Since the documented offence isn't criminal and since the legal procedure conducted by the soldier's commanding officer was found appropriate, a disciplinary action was decided to be sufficient."


Ostrovski, who has since closed the account, told the army he did not take the picture, but found it on the internet, the Guardian reports.

The image drew a slew of negative comments, including death threats.

According to The Times of Israel, in 2010 the IDF announced it would crack down on soldiers posting humiliating and offensive photos on social networking sites.

The move came after a female reserve solider named Eden Abergil posted pictures of herself posing next to handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees on Facebook.

Social media is often used to document the escalating hostilities between Israel and Palestine.

Twitter battles between spokesmen for the Israeli military and the Hamas military wing are frequent.

In November last year, Huffington Post experimented with a search through Instagram photos from the conflict using hashtags #israel, #idf, #gaza and #palestine via web-based Instagram client Statigram.

The top slideshow contains pics tagged #israel and #idf. The bottom contains pics tagged #palestine and #gaza.

Photo gallery #Israel See Gallery
Photo gallery #Gaza See Gallery