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Israeli soldier sparks outrage by posting photo of child in sniper crosshairs to Instagram

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Instagram sniper
Instagram sniper

A photograph of a child or young adult taken through the crosshairs of what appears to be a sniper rifle posted to Instagram by an Israeli soldier has sparked outrage on the internet and a stern rebuke from the Israel Defense Force (IDF). As reported by The Guardian, 20-year-old soldier Mor Ostrovski posted the controversial photograph late last week, but it has since been deleted from Instagram; Ostrovski's account has also been suspended or deleted. Ostrovski reportedly has said that he did not take the photograph, but that he instead found it online and then posted it to his account.

An IDF spokesperson said that the soldier commanders were investigating the incident, and that his actions "are not in accordance with the spirit of the IDF or its values." We've reached out to Instagram to find out if the soldier's account was suspended due to the photograph or other photographs on it — according to The Electronic Intifada, Ostrovski's Instagram account contained plenty of images of his military hardware. The site also believes that, due to the style of the buildings in the background, that the person targeted in the image is Palestinian. This is hardly the only incident in which members of the IDF have come under fire for misusing social media to denigrate Palestinians — just a few weeks ago, another IDF soldier was sentenced to 14 days in military prison for posting a photograph of himself with four bound and blindfolded Palestinians.

Update: An Instagram spokesperson told us that "we take action against accounts with content that violates our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines, however we don't comment on specific cases."