Africa 11.8.2016 02:26 pm

Israeli army probes 20 Palestinian deaths

Israeli soldiers.

Israeli soldiers.

According to Israeli human rights organisations most of the investigations very rarely result in a conviction.

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) are investigating the incidents surrounding the shooting deaths, or wounding, of 20 Palestinians by Israeli security forces in disputed circumstances.

“The IDF has gathered testimonies from soldiers involved in the incidents, and in some cases asked human rights organisations, such as B’Tselem, for more details regarding the events,” reported the Israeli daily Haaretz on Thursday afternoon.

The Military Advocate General orders an investigation into the death of every Palestinian in the West Bank “who isn’t involved in actual combat activity”.

For this reason, most of the investigations opened by the military police in recent months have mainly involved cases in which Palestinians were shot during confrontations with defence forces.

According to Israeli human rights organisations, including B’tselem, most of the investigations very rarely result in a conviction and even when they do, the punishment is considered mild.

Currently, an Israeli soldier Sergeant Elor Azaria is standing trial for manslaughter after shooting dead a seriously wounded Palestinian as he lay on the ground in Hebron, in the southern West Bank, after he allegedly tried to attack other soldiers with a knife.

Haaretz reported that investigations have been launched into two separate incidents in which 13-year-old Palestinian children died.

In October 2015, Abed al-Rahman Obeidallah was killed in the Al-Aida refugee camp after being shot with a live 0.22-inch calibre bullet, which is seen as less lethal than regular bullets.

According to an inquiry carried out by B’Tselem, a sniper shot Obeidallah in broad daylight.

“In February, meanwhile, Haitham Saada was shot dead near the West Bank town of Halhul. The army said he was shot as he was about to throw a firebomb onto the nearby Route 60. Saada’s cousin, who was with him at the time, was arrested by the IDF,” reported Haaretz.

“The Military Police are also investigating the fatal shooting of Malik Shahin, 19, in the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, last December. According to B’Tselem, Shahin was shot in the head.”

Mahmoud Badran, 15, was also shot by Israeli soldiers in June after they shot at a car Badran’s family was travelling in. The soldiers had been chasing other Palestinian stone-throwers.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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