A video clip of the incident, which took place on Friday near Hebron in the southern West Bank, apparently shows Harun Abu Aram, 24, with three other men, trying to hold on to the generator as Israeli soldiers try to move it away.
The melee continues until you hear one shot outside the camera, followed by a screaming, before the camera moves to reveal Abu Aram, lying motionless on the ground.
The video has been widely shared by Israeli human rights organizations and the Israeli and Palestinian media.
The Israeli army said in a statement that its soldiers were participating in a routine operation to “confiscate and evacuate an illegal building in the village of Tuwani.” Israeli forces regularly evict and demolish Palestinian homes in Palestinian lands that were built without permission from the Israeli authorities.
The statement said that the army learned of reports that a Palestinian was wounded by live bullets during the operation and that it is conducting an investigation.
The army statement also said that the operation was carried out against stone throwing by about 150 Palestinians, although this cannot be seen in the two-and-a-half-hour video clip that was shared on social media.
Muhammad Repi, head of the village’s local committee, told CNN that the Abu Aram family’s house itself had been demolished a month earlier and that he was trying to protect his neighbors’ property when the Israeli army moved to vacate their home during the Friday operation.
“Haroun was trying to help his neighbors regain their birth, when he was hit in the back of his neck,” said Repi.
A statement from the hospital in Hebron, where Abu Aram is being treated, stated that he had been shot in the neck, damaged his nerves and spine, and left him paralyzed in all four limbs. The hospital added that breathing is only possible with a ventilator.