Video footage has surfaced showing the shooting and killing of two Palestinian teenagers, Nadem Syam Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh, 16 on Nakba Day during protests in front of the Ofer Military Prison.
The footage, obtained by Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI-Palestine), was captured by CCTV cameras mounted on the building where the incident took place last Thursday.
Nawara sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. Odeh, 16, sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the back.
Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said troops were breaking up a “disturbance” and did not use live fire.
However, according to John Brown at Local Call, eyewitnesses reported that the sound of the gunfire was clearly that of live fire. They further stated that the Palestinians were shot from at least 100 meters – a distance from which the prospect of death from a rubber bullet are tiny. In the case of Odeh, the bullet entered his back and exited from his chest – something that almost never occurs as a result of rubber bullets.
Dr. Samir Saliba, head of the emergency room in the Ramallah hospital, stated in his medical report that the internal damage and the exit wound in Odeh’s body could have only been caused by live fire.
The Israeli military’s own regulations dictate that live ammunition must be used only under life-threatening circumstances. The video shows this was clearly not the case.
The IDF Spokesperson was contacted for comment on the incident.
Update (1:30 p.m.): In response to my inquiry, the IDF Spokesperson stated the following:
A number of violent demonstrations took place across Judea and Samaria last Thursday. In the Beitunia area, there was a violent protest of approximately 150 Palestinians who burned tires and threw rocks. Israeli security forces arrived in the area in order to disperse the demonstration using crowd-dispersal means.
That same day it was reported that two Palestinians were killed as a result of actions taken by security forces. An initial investigation reveals that no live fire was used throughout the day. The incident is currently under investigation. The video that has been shared on the internet in the past hours is edited and does not fully reflect the violence of the rioters during the demonstration.
MK Zehava Galon, who heads the left-wing Meretz party, responded to the video on her Facebook page (translation by Sol Salbe):
In the attached video you can see two Palestinian youths being shot dead by IDF soldiers during a demonstration last week in Beitunia. The IDF announced on the day of the incident that subject is “being investigated.” But it hastened to add that the shooting came in response to disturbances, the protesters were armed and the army merely used rubber bullets to break up the demonstration.
Unfortunately, most of the ‘investigations’ conducted by the IDF are a means of getting the story out of the way and avoid anyone paying the penalty for the light finger on the trigger and/or use of violence. I have contacted the attorney general and demanded that the investigation into the incident in Beitunia be carried out in conjunction with State Attorney office staff, because when two unarmed youth are killed by our forces, an IDF ‘investigation’ and the knee-jerk reaction are not good enough.