A video showing an Israeli police officer kicking a nine-year-old Palestinian boy has prompted an official investigation.

The footage, released by the Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem, shows the child, Abd a-Rahman Burqan, on the ground as he is held by a border police officer. Another police officer then kicks the boy. The first policeman releases him and he runs away.

The incident took place last week in Hebron, a volatile West Bank city where several hundred hardline Jewish settlers live protected by Israeli troops, B'Tselem said.

The cameraman, Raed Abu Rimle, told the Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth: "I heard yelling and I saw a soldier kick a boy in the stomach. After the policemen left him, I approached the kid. He was so scared that he'd pissed his pants."

A statement from the border police said it "views with gravity and condemns the behaviour of the policemen, which contradicts the values the corps upholds. It is important to note that this is an exceptional incident that does not represent the extensive activity of the combat Border Police troops to further the security of the State of Israel."

The incident followed a report published last week by a group of eminent British lawyers that concluded Israel had breached international law in its treatment of Palestinian children in military custody.

It is the latest of a string of actions caught on camera that have caused controversy. Previous video clips have shown an Israeli soldier butting a Danish pro-Palestinian activist in the face with his rifle and settlers firing guns at Palestinian villagers.

Watch the video, published by the Guardian on July 3.

© 2012 Guardian News