Video: Israeli Soldiers Drag Palestinian Teen Shot in Clashes

18:00 Jan 16 2017 Teqoa (Taqqou', Tuqu')

Mourners carry the body of Qusai Al Amour at his funeral in the West Bank village of Tuqu, January 17, 2017. Credit: MUSA AL SHAER/AFP
Published by Haaretz

Rights group demands probe into the killing; IDF says the incident is already being investigated.>/i>

by Jack Khoury and Gili Cohen for Haaretz
Jan 17, 2017, 11:31 pm

A human rights group is demanding that the army investigate the death a Palestinian teen, after footage surfaced showed soldiers dragging the wounded young man to their vehicle by his arms and legs, with his head banging against the ground, and only then giving him medical care.

The Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said the teen was evacuated hastily because the soldiers were being pelted with stones at the time. It added that the incident is already being investigated.

On Monday, Border Policemen shot and killed 17-year-old Qusai Al-Amour during clashes in the West Bank village of Tuqu near Bethlehem. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, Al-Amour was hit by four bullets in his upper body and two in the legs. Four other Palestinians were wounded in the incident, including Al-Amour’s sister.

The IDF said the teen had thrown stones at the police, who responded by firing bullets from Ruger rifles. The army permits use of the Ruger to disperse stone-throwers, even though it fires live, albeit small-caliber, ammunition.

The Palestinian photographer who filmed the incident told Haaretz that Al-Amour was standing under a tree and tried to hide from the Border Policemen, who were a few dozen meters away, but left his upper body exposed. The photographer said the teen was shot in the upper body and fell, after which the soldiers came and dragged him away.

According to the photographer, the teen didn’t move at all after he was shot and appeared to be dead.

Mohammad Awad, head of the Red Crescent in the Bethlehem area, told Haaretz that one of the organization's ambulances had arrived at the scene, but remained at a distance from the soldiers and was not allowed to approach.

“I saw from a distance that they were resuscitating him,” he said. “I don’t know whether he was alive or not, but about half an hour later, the Palestinian District Coordination Office told us to send an ambulance to the [army’s] Gush Etzion command post to collect the body.”

After the photographer’s footage was released, Physicians for Human Rights asked the Military Police to open an investigation. It sent copies of the request to the military advocate general and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

“The suspicion arises that there’s a connection between the way the military force behaved before and during the evacuation of the wounded teen and the deterioration of his medical condition, and therefore also his chances of surviving his injury,” wrote attorney Mahmoud Abo Arishah in the letter. “We ask that you look into why the wounded teen wasn’t examined before the military force moved him, why he wasn’t moved on a stretcher, and why he was carried so aggressively when he seems to have offered no resistance.”

MK Ayman Odeh (Joint List) also lambasted the army’s behavior. “The very fact that live fire is used at demonstrations is grave and unacceptable,” he said, “but the cruelty and indifference with which the soldiers treated Al-Amour’s wounded body is intolerable and shocking.

“This is the true and ugly face of the occupation,” he continued. “An occupying army cannot be moral, because the nature of its mission contradicts conscience and morality.”

The IDF has already begun investigating the incident. Its initial inquiry found that the soldiers seen in the video clip had come to evacuate the Palestinian wounded by Border Police fire. They decided to move the Palestinian over to their vehicle before administering first aid because they were being pelted by rocks.

“During violent disturbances in which some 200 Palestinians from Tuqu participated, which included throwing rocks and firebombs at the security forces, a Border Policeman responded by firing at one of the rioters,” the IDF spokesperson said. "After the injury was noticed, IDF forces went over to the wounded teen in order to give him immediate medical treatment."

“During the evacuation, stones were thrown at the forces in a way that endangered them, and therefore, the wounded teen was quickly evacuated to a safe place, where medical treatment began,” the statement continued. “At the end of it, he was declared dead. The incident will be investigated.”

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