Israel acknowledges troops killed 2 Palestinians after video captures shooting on a Gaza beach

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians and wounded a third on Gaza’s beach, the military acknowledged Saturday, responding to a video that showed one man falling to the ground after walking in an open area and then a bulldozer pushing two bodies into the garbage-strewn sand.

The military said troops opened fire after the men allegedly ignored warning shots.

The video was broadcast earlier this week by the Al Jazeera television network. The origin of the footage remains unknown, as is the date of the incident. Al Jazeera said at least two of the three men seen in the blurry videos were waving white flags before being shot at.

The video follows a number of similar clips that have surfaced in recent months, showing Palestinians in war-stricken Gaza being fired at or killed while seeming to pose little threat to Israeli forces nearby. In January, footage showed a man being shot dead while walking in a group of people waving a white flag. Another video broadcast by Al Jazeera last week appeared to show an Israeli strike killing at least four Palestinians walking on a sandy path in southern Gaza.

In response to the beach shootings, the Israeli army said Saturday that the video was edited and depicts two separate incidents across different locations in central Gaza. Al Jazeera said both shootings took place close to each other on a beachfront southwest of Gaza City.

In the video, one man is seen walking away from Israeli forces before he falls to the ground, apparently after being shot. He is seen raising his hands above his head at one point, and Al Jazeera said he was waving a white flag in the moments before he is hit.

In a different part of the video, another Palestinian man is seen approaching nearby Israeli forces, waving what Al Jazeera says is also a white flag, before venturing off camera.

Finally, the bodies of two men are seen being dragged through the sand, one after the another, by an Israeli bulldozer. The army said the vehicle was used out of fear that the men may have had explosives on them.

The army said the two men who were killed had carried bags, although no bags were visible in the footage. The military said the wounded man was later released after questioning.

The Qatari network said all the men in the video were trying to return to their homes in northern Gaza, from where they were displaced earlier in the conflict. The north of the territory has seen the largest level of destruction since the start of the Israel-Hamas war nearly six months ago, with aid struggling to reach those that remain there.

Palestinians and human rights groups say the Israeli military has used disproportionate or indiscriminate force in its Gaza offensive, leading to heavy civilian casualties. They say that even when such killings are caught on video, military investigations rarely result in indictments of the soldiers involved.

Israel has held Hamas responsible for civilian casualties because the militants operate from within civilian areas. The army did not say whether the beach shootings would be investigated.

Israeli fire has killed over 32,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run enclave. The war erupted on Oct. 7. when Hamas-led militants invaded southern Israel ,killing 1, 200 people, mostly Israelis, and kidnapping some 250 others.

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