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Rights group rejects Israeli account of Palestinian teen's death

July 6, 2015 10:07 P.M. (Updated: July 7, 2015 11:06 A.M.)
(MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian rights group on Monday rejected the Israeli narrative of the death of 17-year-old Muhammad Hani al-Kasbah, who was shot dead by an Israeli commander in Qalandiya last week.

Al-Haq, which has consultative status with the UN, said that a field investigation found that Israeli soldiers "arbitrarily shot and killed Muhammad, who posed no threat to the Israeli soldiers' lives at the time of the shooting."

The group said in a statement that Kasbah, a resident of Qalandiya refugee camp, was standing near the Qalandiya checkpoint early Friday when an Israeli army vehicle passed in front of him.

"Muhammad threw a stone at the vehicle and ran away," according to al-Haq.

The Israeli army said that soldiers then stepped out of the vehicle, issued a verbal warning, shot live ammunition in the air to warn Kabah, and then shot directly at him when he continued to approach, claiming that their lives were in danger.

Al-Haq rejected not only that Kasbah had posed a threat to the soldiers' lives but also that the Israeli soldiers had adequately warned the teenager.

"One eye witness stated that a single bullet was fired in the air," the statement said, adding: "No other witnesses corroborated the Israeli claim that a verbal warning was issued."

Al-Haq said that the evidence suggested that the incident took place in less than 30 seconds, "contravening the Israeli timeline of events."

"It is impossible that the child could have been genuinely warned twice and then shot at directly and hit multiple times within the documented timeframe of a mere 30 seconds or less," the statement said.

The rights group added that Kasbah's wounds in his upper body "demonstrated an intent to kill."

Kasbah was shot by several bullets, including one that hit his head.

"The officer or solider who fired the shot approached Muhammad's body after he had fallen on the ground, looked at it, and then returned to the military vehicle without providing any assistance," the statement said.

Israeli media later identified the shooter as a senior Israeli commander named Israel Shomer.

Al-Haq condemned "the excessive and disproportionate use of force which led to the willful killing of Muhammad" and said that Israeli soldiers "could have avoided the use of firearms in this situation and resorted to non-lethal methods.

"Al-Haq calls on the Israeli occupying authorities to ensure a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into the death of Muhammad and requests that all perpetrators be held accountable."

Al-Haq is a Palestinian NGO that aims "to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law" in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to the group's website. It has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Kasbah's death came exactly a week after Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man when he allegedly opened fire on them at the Beqaot checkpoint in the Jordan Valley.

Kasbah's two brothers, Yasser and Samer, were killed by Israeli forces in Qalandiya refugee camp during the Second Intifada in May 2002.
Comments
spb / usa
shocking! isn't that the first time any group rejects Israel narrative?
07/07/2015 03:34
some one / some where
no body give a damn about rejection since ever body know 99% what they say is lie the world have no ear of lie
lat week you claim a boy was shot while he was going to school latter it appear he throw stone stop lie
07/07/2015 05:13
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