Were troops using live ammunition?
Photo: AFP

Was teen killed by live fire?

Army to probe death of 16-year-old Palestinian in clash with troops; IDF says forces were facing life-threatening situation but did not use live ammunition, doctor at Nablus hospital says X-rays disprove military's claims

Question marks have emerged over a violent clash between IDF forces and Palestinian rioters that resulted in the death of 16-year-old Muhammad Qadus Saturday.


A 19-year-old Palestinian who took part in the clashes sustained grave head wounds in the incident.


Military officials say that troops did not use live ammunition during the confrontation but Nablus doctor Mahmoud Qaadan, who treated Qadus at Rapidia hospital, told Ynet that the findings were conclusive: "We had an entry and exit of a bullet. We do not have a bullet, but this type of injuries with entry and exit wounds are only created by live ammunition and not by rubber-coated bullets."


Qadus' body taken away (Photo: AFP)


The X-rays done at the hospital left no room for doubt regarding the use of live fire in the incident, the Palestinian doctor said. A B'Tselem investigator who arrived at the hospital also claimed that the X-rays proved that the teen was killed by live ammunition and not by rubber bullets.


An IDF source told Ynet that the army engaged in covert surveillance in the area Saturday, spotting masked Palestinians in possession of rocks heading to the nearby Bracha settlement. Troops fired tear gas at the Palestinians, to no avail, and later fired rubber bullets at stone throwers roughly 70 meters (about 250 feet) away from them.


X-ray of gravely wounded teen (Photo: Salma a-Dab'i, B'Tselem)


According to an initial probe, the forces did not fire live ammunition at the Palestinians, the IDF source said. He added that troops who attempted to detain two suspects inside the Palestinian village encountered a pile of rocks blocking the road, as stone throwers on a nearby hill hurled rocks at the forces, which were hence facing a life-threatening situation. In such cases, IDF troops are allowed to use live fire.


IDF fears fiercer riots  

However, the army said that as result of the growing reports about the use of live fire, Colonel Itzik Bar will lead an initial probe into the incident.


In a conversation with Ynet, senior IDF officers said that Saturday's incident is just one of many that have been taking place every weekend for the past six month. One officer said that the governor of the village in question was unable to stop local residents from attacking the residents of the Bracha settlement.


"IDF and Civilian Administration officials explained to them that the land worked by Bracha residents does not belong to the village, and that claims regarding water resources robbed from there are false," he said.


The IDF is now concerned about the prospect of fiercer riots in the area in the wake of the teen's death and will deploy in force in the area in the coming days.


Meanwhile, the IDF Spokesman's Office characterized Saturday's Palestinian protest as a "dangerous provocation" and stressed that forces did not fire live ammunition.


"Gas grenades were used before the firing of rubber bullets," he said. "The rioters were hurt by rubber bullets fired at the mob in line with procedures."


The IDF also noted that ahead of the incident, the army engaged in intense contacts with Palestinian officials in order to prevent friction in the area.


Ali Waked contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 03.20.10, 22:27
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