Israeli Defense Forces suspected of shooting Canadian artist

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

A .22 caliber bullet struck the leg of Canadian-Palestinian artist as she was photographing Israeli Defense forces in Bethlehem on Dec. 11, 2015.

Rehab Nazzal is known for, amongst other things, a controversial art exhibit shown at Ottawa’s City Hall, which contained images of Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli prison. The exhibit had come under criticism from Rafael Barak, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, in May of 2014. Barak had said the exhibit was, “glorifying terror.” According to reports, the bullet that struck Nazzal’s leg was of the same caliber as those used in the Ruger 10/22 rifles of the Israeli Defense Forces. The IDF has been criticized for using .22-caliber ammunition as a means of crowd control.

On Dec. 15, 2015, the story was given 150 words by CTV London, Ontario, which is home to the University of Western Ontario, the school Nazzal attends. The Ottawa Citizen covered the story on Dec.16, 2015. The Ottawa Citizen had also written on May 24, 2014 about Nazzal’s art exhibit and the negative reaction it elicited from the Israeli ambassador. However, both CTV London and the Ottawa Citizen failed to mention the direct connection between the caliber of the bullet that caused Nazzal’s wound and the weapons of the same caliber that have intermittently been used as a means of crowd control in Israel. The story was also covered by the independent media site Rabble and art market site Artnet on Dec. 16 and 18 respectively. The Rabble report claims Nazzal was shot by “Israeli occupation forces.” On Oct. 7, 2015, Israel’s Haaretz reported on the controversy surrounding the IDF’s use of .22 caliber ammunition.


Alyse Kotyk, “Canadian photographer wounded in Bethlehem while documenting protests,” Rabble, December 16, 2015,

Carys Mills and Marie-Danielle Smith, “City hall art exhibit provokes war of words between Israeli, Palestinian representatives,” Ottawa Citizen, May 23, 2014,

CTV London, “Western student shot in leg while doing research in West Bank,” CTV News London, December 15, 2015,

Haaretz, “B’Ttselem Calls on IDF to Stop Using Sniper Rifle, .22 Caliber Bullets,” Haaretz, October 7, 2015,

Peter Simpson, “Artist who caused protests in Ottawa shot in Bethlehem,” Ottawa Citizen, December 16, 2015,

Sarah Cascone, “Artist Rehab Nazzal Allegedly Shot by Israeli Defense Forces,” Artnet News, December 18, 2015,

Student Researcher: Brandon Harder (University of Regina)

Faculty Evaluator: Patricia W. Elliott (University of Regina)