Israeli Army Admits Slain Palestinian Child Was A Bystander

08:00 Jun 20 2016 Route 443, between Beit Sira and Beit Ur al-Tahta

Israeli Army Admits Slain Palestinian Child Was A Bystander
15-year-old Mahmoud Raafat Badran, shot dead by Israeli forces on June 21, 2016 Published by Maan News

by IMEMC News

Following the fatal shooting of a Palestinian child on the hands of Israeli soldiers, earlier Tuesday, the Israeli army admitted that the child was ‘likely’ just a bystander, and that he was shot dead allegedly after Palestinians hurled stones on Israeli vehicles. He was in a car that was targeted by the army, while driving on the same road.

In a statement, the Israeli army said the child, Mahmoud Rafat Badran, 14, was “traveling by car with his family, when some Palestinians hurled stones and a firebomb” on the highway between Jerusalem and Modi’in illegal colony, built on Palestinian lands, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

The slain child was returning back home, along with his friends, after swimming in a pool in Beit Sira nearby village.

Israeli daily Haaretz quoted the army saying some Palestinians apparently spilled oil on the highway, and hurled stones on an Israeli bus, and cars.

It added that one Israeli, traveling on a bus, and two foreigners traveling by car, suffered mild wounds, when several Palestinian youngsters hurled stones on the vehicles.

An israeli army officer, and a number of soldiers, were driving in the area and starting chasing Palestinians, and fired several live rounds targeting a Palestinian car that happened to be driving on the same road.

Several Palestinians were also shot and wounded by the Israeli fire, while the military was unable to determine whether the wounded Palestinians had anything to do with the “stone throwing incidents.”

The army said it initiated a probe into the incident, and that the investigation will continue by the Binyamin battalion, operating in the Ramallah district.

The army claimed several Israeli cars sustained damage in stone-throwing incidents in the area, but all managed to continue the drive to Maccabim Israeli military roadblock, and reported the incidents to the soldiers.

On Tuesday at dawn, the soldiers invaded various Palestinian communities in several districts in the occupied West Bank, stormed and searched dozens of homes, and kidnapped at eleven Palestinians, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said. One Palestinian was kidnapped on Monday evening.

Initial army probe said teen was mistakenly shot at by IDF forces on Route 443; investigation to focus on whether soldiers opened fire according to protocol.

by Gili Cohen , Jack Khoury and Amos Harel for Haaretz

The Israel Defense Forces will open an official investigation into Tuesday's fatal shooting of a Palestinian teen on a key West Bank road that straddles the border with Jerusalem and is often a scene of violence.
Mahmoud Rafat Baderan, 15, was shot early on Tuesday by IDF forces on Route 443 while traveling with family and, according to a preliminary army investigation, was not involved in any stone throwing on the highway, where three people were wounded earlier due to stone and firebomb throwing.

According to the army, the soldiers involved in shooting the teen were from the Kfir Brigade and the military's police investigation unit's probe will focus on two questions: whether the soldiers opened fire according to protocol and if the forces felt a clear and immediate threat from the family car.

According to the army's open-fire regulations, which were revamped earlier this year, soldiers should not fire at a Palestinian assailant fleeing after an attack unless the suspect poses an immediate threat.
The decision to investigate the incident is the result of army policy to probe any lethal shooting that is not a result of direct combat.

The Palestinian Authority called the shooting a "cold blooded assassination" and said it reaffirms "calls to the UN… to initiate an immediate extensive investigation into Israeli extrajudicial killings of Palestinians; particularly children."
Stones and firebombs

At around 1 A.M. on Tuesday a firebomb and rocks were thrown and oil was spilled onto the highway which runs between Jerusalem and Modi'in. An Israeli bus passenger and two tourists in another vehicle were injured in the incident which occurred near the village of Beit Sira.

An officer and group of soldiers from the Kfir Brigade responding to the incident spotted the injured people, chased after the stone throwers and fired accidentally at a car, killing the Palestinian teen, army investigators found.

The IDF said that a group of Palestinians tried to disrupt traffic by throwing rocks and firebombs at passing cars, significantly damaging a vehicle and wounding three passengers. Two suspects were arrested.

The IDF spokesperson's office said that "in the course of gunfire to remove a threat, uninvolved people near the scene of the incident were accidentally hit."

The Palestinian Authority has identified the slain teen as Badran, from the village of Beit-Uhr-Eh-Tahta, west of Ramallah. Three other Palestinians wounded in the incident were treated at a medical center in Ramallah, and a fourth wounded person was taken to Israel for treatment. Sources in the village said two of the wounded are brothers.

Badran's father said his son had gone to a swimming pool in Beit Sira with cousins and another relative visiting from Qatar.

"They left in the evening after breaking the fast, and stayed at the pool until after midnight. My sister rented a car to take them home, so they were in two vehicles heading back to Beit-Ur-Eh-Tahta," Badran said.
Badran said that in order to reach the village you have to take an underpass beneath Highway 443.

"As they approached the passage, a car stood on the bridge, next to a man with a gun who opened fire on the vehicle. As far as I could understand, some of the passengers jumped out of the vehicle and some remained inside, and were hit, including my son who was very seriously wounded and died a short time later."

"This was indiscriminate gunfire with the intent to kill and I demand that this incident be judged by the the International Court of Justice," Badran said.

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian bystander and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens early Tuesday morning west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, after Palestinian youth nearby threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli settlers, lightly injuring them.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the death of Mahmoud Raafat Badran, 15, from the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.

Local Palestinian sources told Ma'an that five teenage Palestinians were travelling in a car between Beit Ur al-Tahta and the nearby village of Beit Sira west of Ramallah when Israeli forces “showered” the vehicle with live fire, killing one and injuring four.

Head of the village council of Beit Ur al-Tahta Abdul Karim Kassem told Reuters that Mahmoud and his friends were in a car "returning from a pool in a village near us when they came under fire."

Israeli media outlets initially reported that 15-year-old Mahmoud, a "terrorist," had been one of the stone throwers, though he was later revealed to be an innocent bystander to the incident.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that after a number of Palestinian youth hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at moving Israeli settler vehicles on route 443 west of Ramallah, "Israeli forces acted to protect additional vehicles from immediate danger and fired toward the suspects and bystanders were mistakenly hit."

She added that the incident was still under investigation.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that three Palestinian bystanders injured alongside Mahmoud sustained serious injuries after being shot by Israeli forces in the head and chest, and were evacuated to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah City, while the fourth was taken to Israel's Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem.

The four were identified as Mahmoud's two brothers 16-year-old Amir and 17-year-old Hadi, as well as Daoud Abu Hassan, 16, and Majd Badran, 16.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that two Palestinian suspects were detained by Israeli forces in connection to the stone throwing and taken in for interrogation. Some Israeli news outlets reported that the Palestinian stone throwers also spilled oil on the road before they attacked the settler vehicles.

The Israeli army spokesperson added that three Israeli civilians were lightly injured in the incident. Israeli news site Ynet reported that two of those injured were foreigners, and two males had already been discharged from Shaarei Tzedek hospital while a woman remained for treatment of light injuries. More than 10 vehicles reportedly sustained damages.

Local Palestinian sources told Ma'an that Mahmoud's body is still being held by Israeli forces.

His father is a former prisoner, freed from Israeli custody in 1999 after serving a 15-year sentence, locals said.

Mahmoud is one of some 220 Palestinians to be killed by Israeli forces or settlers since October, many of whom were killed while carrying out individual attacks on Israeli military and settlers. Just under 30 Israelis have been killed during the unrest.
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