The Bedouin shepherd whose body was found Sunday near the community of Gitit in the Jordan Rift Valley was apparently killed by the explosion of a 40 mm grenade, a police autopsy has found.
The authorities published their findings Monday in a forensics report stating that the youth expired after
losing massive quantities of blood, due to a wounded artery in his neck.
Police postulated that the shepherd found the unexploded grenade – of the type fired by an M-203 launcher – and picked it up, which caused it to detonate. Palestinians had initially claimed that the 17-year old youth, Yehie Ata Bani Minia, had been shot by settlers.
His body was found by his family on Saturday night in an open field near Gitit. On Sunday police arrived at the scene and launched an investigation into the matter. Officers had difficulty determining cause of death as no cartridges or other evidence of a shooting was present at the scene, despite reports of a loud blast.
The body was transferred to the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine and the investigation continued. Bedouin witnesses residing in the area were interrogated, as police attempted to find out where the boy may have been shot. Later the remains of the grenade were found at the scene of the youth's death.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union-NRP) responded to the police findings and said, "For two days leftists, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Minister Haim Ramon and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have been concocting
connections between the pipe bomb at Prof. Sternhell's home, the Rabin assassination, and the death of the Bedouin near Gitit – and blaming the settlers for violence and unlawful acts.
"Media correspondents and editors were quick to verbally attack 300,000 people in their usual manner, prior to a police investigation.
"The Israeli Left is acting irresponsibly, time after time. It identifies totally with the enemy's claims, and when it discovers an opportunity to harm its political rivals it does so without a second thought."