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Teenager shot by settler forced to pay fine

June 24, 2010 1:08 P.M. (Updated: June 24, 2010 9:15 P.M.)
Hebron/Bethlehem – Ma'an – A teenage boy shot by an Israeli settler has been fined by Israeli police investigating the case, family members said.

Mohammad Ibrahim, 16, was shot in the chest as he walked home from school with his friends on 4 June. His friend, Moataz Moussa Omran Banat, was also shot in the leg.

On Tuesday, Ibrahim’s father said Israeli police from the Kiryat Arba settlement asked him to bring his son to make a report on the incident.

The father and son went to Etzion, a detention center inside the settlement, and were interrogated for several hours. Ibrahim’s father said the police accused his son of throwing stones at settlers and forced him to pay a 1,500 shekel fine.

The Detainees’ Center in Hebron described the incident as an attempt by police to protect the settler, calling on the International Red Cross to ensure that the man who shot Ibrahim faces trial.

Witnesses to the shooting said a man stepped out of his car and began shooting randomly at the group, before returning to his car and driving away. An Israeli settler later turned himself in, telling police that he had shot into the air. He was put under house-arrest.

The boys were shot outside Hebron's Al-Arrub refugee camp in the southern West Bank where they both live. They were admitted to Al-Ahli Hospital, where Ibrahim required immediate surgery and Banat was put into ICU.

An Israeli police spokesman said at the time that he believed the shooting was related to earlier reports by Israeli drivers of “aggressive stone-throwing.”

An Israeli police spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

In its latest annual report, Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem said there is an "undeclared policy of leniency toward Israelis who harm Palestinians and damage Palestinian property." Since September 2000, the organization has submitted 200 complaints of settler violence to Israeli police, only nine of which have resulted in indictments.

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