Military Police to investigate death of double amputee in Gaza riot
Initial IDF probe concluded no live fire had been aimed at Ibrahim Abu Thuraya during violent protest on Gaza border on December 15 and that it was impossible to determine the cause of his death; following information received from Gaza, IDF decides to launch criminal investigation.
"In order to further examine the case, including information received from organizations operating in the Gaza Strip, it was decided that the circumstances of Thuraya's death will also be examined by a Military Police investigation," the army said in a statement.
An initial IDF investigation into the incident concluded that no live fire had been aimed at Abu Thuraya and that it was impossible to determine the cause of his death.
A statement issued by Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said wheelchair-bound Ibrahim Abu Thuraya was shot in the head by Israeli security forces close to the border fence with Israel on December 15.
Abu Thuraya, killed in the "day of rage" protests, was one of the regular protesters on the Gaza border. The Palestinians claim he was killed when a "sniper shot him in the head," while IDF officials said soldiers are instructed, according to the rules of engagement, to shoot main instigators only in the lower body area.
But the Israeli military later said its own investigation had found that it was not possible to say what had killed Abu Thuraya and that no live fire had been directed at him during the dispersal of the violent demonstration.
"No live fire was aimed at Abu Thuraya. It is impossible to determine whether Abu Thuraya was injured as a result of riot dispersal means, or what caused his death," part of the military statement said.
It added that protesters hurled explosive devices and rocks and rolled burning tires "with the aim of harming soldiers and destroying security infrastructure" and that non-lethal riot dispersal means were mainly used, although a few live rounds fired under supervision were aimed "towards main instigators."
New information received from the Gaza Strip has to do with the findings of Abu Thuraya's autopsy. According to fellow protestors, he was killed by crowd-dispersal methods.
IDF orders state that when a Palestinian who is not clearly identified a terrorist is (for instance, an unarmed protestor) is killed by Israeli fire, the Military Police Investigations Division immediately launched an investigation into the incident. In the current case, an investigation wasn't launched in light of the forces' reports in the initial operational probe. Now, in light of the official information received from Gaza, the IDF has decided to launch an investigation.