The Instagram account of an Israeli soldier has been thoroughly scrubbed after a photo posted recently generated significant criticism both from the soldier's followers and from the Internet writ large.

The photo appears to show a child's head positioned in the center of a sniper rifle's crosshairs.

The Guardian has confirmed that the boy in the photo is Palestinian, and that the soldier who uploaded the photo to Instagram is a sniper.

However, Mor Ostrovski claims he did not personally take the photo, but rather found it online and reposted it to his Instagram account.

Nonetheless, the website Electronic Intifada, which was among the first to notice the photo, called the image "tasteless and dehumanizing," adding that "it embodies the idea that Palestinian children are targets."

The IDF released a statement saying Ostrovski's actions "are not in accordance with the spirit of the IDF or its values."

The incident will reportedly be investigated by the 20-year-old soldier's commanders.

The IDF has had to deal with similar occurrences in the past, most recently in December when another soldier posted a photo of himself licking a red substance off a knife alongside the caption "fuck all Arabs their blood is tasty."

Two years ago, after a female soldier gained International infamy for posting Facebook photos of herself standing next to handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees, the IDF vowed to discipline those who post such content on social networks.

But the Guardian points out that in all incidents since a short stint in military prison "was deemed adequate and criminal investigations dropped."

[photo via Instagram]