Photo shows boy in sniper s sights
This is the image reportedly posted on the sniper's Instagram account. Photograph: Instagram/electronicintifada.net

An Israeli soldier has posted a photo of a boy in the crosshairs of a sniper's rifle, sparking a war of words on social media.

The image, of what appears to be the head of young Palestinian boy, was posted on the personal Instagram page of 20-year-old sniper Mor Ostrovski, according to a report in London's Daily Mail.

Mr Ostrovski's picture shows the back of a boy sitting in the centre of a rifle's target.

Critics on social media sites labelled the photo tasteless and dehumanising.

The Mail report says that English-language Palestinian website The Electronic Intifada wrote: "It embodies the idea that Palestinian children are targets."

The website also published other images from the soldier's Instagram account that show him posing with various weapons.

An Israeli Defence Forces spokeswoman said the incident was "severe" and did not "accord with the IDF's spirits and values".

Veteran Israeli soldiers condemned the image, according to the Daily Mail.

One veteran wrote on Facebook: "This is what occupation looks like. This is what military control over a civilian population looks like."

It is the latest controversy over images posted on social media by Israeli military.

The Electronic Intifada posted a picture in December of a 22-year-old Israeli soldier licking a knife with the caption: "F*** all Arabs their blood is tasty", the Mail report claims.

A soldier was also jailed for 14 days in a military prison for posting a picture on Facebook that showed him posing next to a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian.

There is no evidence the boy was fired on and it is not clear if the image is genuine, the Daily Mail reports.

The picture was later removed and his account closed. The Israeli Defence Forces is investigating.

The West Australian

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