Israeli soldier instagrams photo of Palestinian child in crosshairs

A 20-year-old Israeli soldier started a controversy by uploading a picture of crosshairs over a Palestinian child to Instagram. Mor Ostrovski—a member of an Israeli sniper unit—has since deactivated his Instagram account. But, Ostrovski claims he didn't snap the photo.

The Israeli military said the soldier's commanders were investigating the incident. His actions "are not in accordance with the spirit of the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] or its values", a spokesperson said.

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

Regardless of who took the photograph, the fact that Ostrovski posted it to Instagram has created a stir on the Internet.

The image has been heavily criticised online. Electronic Intifada, a news site focused on Palestinian issues, described the photograph as "tasteless and dehumanising". The site published several other images from Ostrovski's Instagram page, including snaps of the soldier posing with heavy-duty guns.

Other unrelated incidents—like when an infantry corps soldier posed next to a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian prisoner and then uploaded the picture to Facebook and when a female IDF soldier uploaded lewd photos of herself with Palestinian detainees—resulted in military disciplinary actions, but criminal investigations were dropped. [Guardian]