2 unarmed Palestinian boys shot at Nakba day protest – updates

I refrained from posting any information on this until an autopsy was performed. So for some background – some unarmed Palestinian boys (civilians) were protesting at the Ofer prison in the West Bank on Nakba day, since Israel’s occupation force, the IDF, kidnaps them at night and imprisons them for existing, and two boys were shot with live fire and subsequently died. The incident (which is a war crime) was caught on four (4) different CCTV cameras filming from different directions (all with continuous time-stamps), as well as numerous international media (videos and diagram below). At first Israel tried to plead that only ‘dum dum’ or ‘plastic-coated’ bullets were used not ‘live fire,’ and that the ‘most moral army in the world’ only shoots when their lives are in imminent danger, so obviously those brave combat soldiers in full kit were about to be killed by unarmed boys hundreds of metres away! Myriad other idiotic arguments were advanced as time went on, and they just got stupider and stupider (it was all an act for the cameras, they were really shot by another Palestinian, they didn’t go to hospital and didn’t die at all). CNN’s video coverage of the event threw a bit of a spanner in Israel’s war-crime-works. But now there is some finality – see the Update at the bottom.

Guardian: Video footage indicates killed Palestinian youths posed no threat
Evidence from CCTV above office shows alleged fatal shootings of Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Salameh by Israeli forces
Peter Beaumont in Beitunia | 20 May 2014

New video evidence showing the fatal shooting of two Palestinian teenagers last week strongly indicates that neither of the boys posed a threat to Israeli forces at the time they were targeted, supporting claims they were “unlawfully killed”.

The footage was caught by a CCTV camera installed above a nearby office and shows the deaths of Nadeem Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Salameh, 16, who were both shot through the chest in separate incidents just over an hour apart.

The two boys are seen walking near the building, apparently unarmed, with the second teenager killed while walking away from positions occupied by Israeli security forces outside Ofer prison in the West Bank.

The footage appears to be supported by Palestinian hospital reports seen by the Guardian and witness accounts of the shooting, including that of Mohamed al-Azi, a 15-year-old who survived being shot through the chest.

The composite picture presented by the evidence points to the conclusion that the two teenagers were between 200 and 250 metres from the soldiers who shot them – allegedly with live fire – and were not involved in throwing stones at the time of their deaths. The latter issue is critical because under the Israeli military’s Open Fire Regulations, live rounds are only allowed to be used against stone throwers when they pose an imminent danger to life.

In the first incident caught on camera, a figure with a backpack walks across a street towards a group of others standing next to a wall before stumbling and slumping to the ground. An hour and 13 minutes later, another figure crosses the street from the opposite direction and also falls to the ground. Journalists who were at the scene last Thursday confirmed the video showed the fatal shootings.

diagram of IDF/protestor positions in Beitunia
Guardian diagram of IDF/protestor positions in Beitunia

The new details contradict the Israeli police and military account that no live rounds were fired during the demonstration and that the killings took place during a riot of some 200 youths who posed a threat to the lives of security forces.

“The images captured on video show unlawful killings where neither child presented a direct and immediate threat to life at the time of their shooting,” said Rifat Kassis, executive director of Defence for Children International-Palestine, which distributed the video.

In his hospital bed in Ramallah, after being released from intensive care, Mohammed al-Azi, the third of the teenagers shot that day, said he was unaware of being shot at first. The bullet went through his chest, deflected off his ribs and exited below his shoulder blade.

He admitted he was closer to the soldiers, perhaps 50 metres from them, but insisted he was not throwing stones. He also placed the number present at the shooting closer to 70.

“It was 12 o’clock. I’d gone forward and could see two soldiers under the vine. I heard the shot and heard my friends shout but didn’t realise it was me who had been shot at first.”

According to B’tselem’s investigation the location of the two youths who were killed would have been out of the range of plastic-coated bullets if they had been fired by the soldiers who could see them from the parking lot.

“Even if they could have been hit by a plastic-coated round at that range, it would not penetrate their bodies,” the group’s Sarit Michaeli said.

Instead, Palestinian hospital reports seen by the Guardian say the bullet that killed Salameh entered through the right side of his back, before shattering his heart and exiting via his sternum.

At the Nuwara family home in Ramallah on Tuesday the teenager’s father, Siam, showed reporters the bloodstained backpack he said his son was wearing when he was shot. He also displayed a bullet which he said had been lodged inside it after passing through the boy’s chest and back. (See CNN video, below)

Guardian: Footage of Palestinian boys being shot is genuine, says Israeli rights group
B’Tselem contradicts Israeli military claims that CCTV footage showing deaths is either forged or was edited misleadingly
Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem | 22 May 2014
A short section of edited CCTV footage was released earlier this week showing Nadim Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Salameh, 16, being shot and killed. Since then Israeli military sources have been quoted anonymously on several occasions in the local media trying to undermine the tape’s credibility.

Several journalists from international news organisations were at the demonstration outside Ofer prison when the incident occurred, including CNN and a photographer for Agence France-Presse, Abbas Momani, whose still photographs appear to duplicate action from the CCTV images.

Invited by the Guardian to provide evidence the footage was faked, a senior Israeli military spokesman on Thursday would only say it had been edited to “misrepresent the extensive Palestinian violence that day”, adding that the army’s investigation was ongoing. [So, the Israeli military could not prove their assertion, but just repeated the assertion – ed]

Sarit Michaeli of B’Tselem said on Thursday that researchers had now reviewed all the CCTV footage taken from the four cameras installed at the scene of the killings, showing several different angles. They concluded that the edited footage was consistent with the sequence of events as it was captured on the full-length tapes.

Michaeli said: “The footage is continuous, as you can see from the time stamps.

“It starts just before midday and finishes around three. Taken together it shows that there is a light demonstration with some stoning. Soldiers fire rubber bullets and teargas until the fatal shootings. Then you see the youths get shot and fall.”

Footage shot by CNN of the killings appears to confirm this picture, showing Nadim Nawara throwing stones at one stage close to the building where he was shot and killed, but still at some distance from where witnesses have placed the closest Israeli soldiers.

Whether violence took place earlier or not, Israeli open fire regulations are unequivocal in stating that it is only permissible to use live rounds – or lethal force – against stone-throwers when there is an immediate risk to life.

Neither of the youths was throwing stones when they were killed, and one was walking away from the Israeli position, with his back to soldiers, when he was shot.

The wounds to the two boys and another boy who survived being shot appear consistent with small-calibre, high-velocity live rounds, including the described entry and exit wounds and the way the bullets travelled in the body.

CNN Ivan Watson report – live fire used
CNN filmed the soldiers shooting at unarmed civilians, when there was no ‘immediate risk to life’ to the soldiers whatsoever. Israeli open fire regulations are unequivocal in stating that it is only permissible to use live rounds – or lethal force – against stone-throwers when there is an immediate risk to life. The sound suppressor was in full view all the time. It appeared to be an M-16 in the brief glimpse provided when the other soldier lifted it up and away from the tree limb that was partially obstructing it from view.

Judging by the quick camera pan in the CNN video the shooter was set-up well in advance of taking the shot, behind a barricaded firing position. It’s very unlikely that the soldiers felt their lives were in any real danger, since most them were just standing around and not trying to take cover behind the wall in front of them. At the distance indicated in the video its very unlikely that the shooter missed what he was aiming at and hit the teens in the upper body by accident.

Talmudia and its supporters attempted all sorts of deflection, distraction, dissembling and even went so far as to claim that perhaps the Palestinian boys were not even dead at all, according to the mythical construct of ‘Pallywood’ (which apparently includes ALL media), and the funerals were just for show. Former American, Michael [Borenstein] Oren, who gave up his US citizenship for an Israeli one and became the Israeli ambassador to the US, actually advanced that demented theory, which was heartily endorsed by Israelis and could hardly be a coincidence. One argument put forth by Talmudia was that the unarmed Palestinian boys could not possibly have been actually shot because one fell forward instead of backwards. This is a frantic ‘grasping at straws’ to cover the blatant war crime that was caught on film. And even that tendentious argument is shown to be nonsense:

Demonstrative bullet fallacy:

In reality, as an FBI report on the subject put it, “A bullet simply cannot knock a man down. If it had the energy to do so, then equal energy would be applied against the shooter and he too would be knocked down. This is simple physics, and has been known for hundreds of years.”


Ballistics & Forensic Experts on the JFK Head Shot:

Animals are used for — goats are the experimental animal of choice, and also there is less public empathy with a goat than there is with other types of experimental animals. And you need something fairly large approaching a human. Goats have been used for years. And in the course of those studies one thing we had noted — people say a gun has great knockdown power. So we tried to see which weapons had the best knockdown power. So in examining goats that were shot with various weapons we found out that no small arm as we know it, shoulder fired weapon, has knockdown power. As many goats fell toward the weapon as fell away, or fell straight down.



11 June, 2014 Ma’an (also on Reuters)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An autopsy ordered on the body of a Palestinian teenager killed during Nakba Day demonstrations last month concluded that his death was caused by an Israeli bullet, a source close to the matter told Ma’an.

The killing of Nadim Nuwara, who was 15 at the time of his death, has been a source of controversy, as Palestinian medical sources and eyewitnesses have said that Israeli soldiers shot him while Israeli security sources have disputed the claim, despite the existence of a video footage showing the incident from a number of angles.

Nuwara’s body was exhumed on Wednesday and an autopsy was performed at the Palestinian Institute of Forensic Medicine, the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.

The autopsy — which was performed by a team of specialists led by the head of the institute, Saber al-Aloul, with the presence of Danish, Portuguese, American, and two Israeli doctorsconcluded that the Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli forces.

The source added that the exhumed body was in a good condition and had not decomposed yet, so doctors had no difficulties in locating the places where the bullet entered and exited the body, and even found fragments of it remaining in the body.

Samples of the bullet fragments and the body was taken for testing in order to prepare a report that will be published in the coming days.

Nadim Nuwara was killed alongside Muhammad Audah Abu al-Thahir, 17, as they participated in protests to mark the 66th anniversary of the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” when Zionist militias expelled 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in what became Israel in 1948.

The protests took place near the Ofer Detention Center near Ramallah and became part of an international controversy over Israel’s army’s regular use of excessive force against Palestinian protesters.

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