Israeli forces could have avoided killings - report

2016-10-25 18:54
A shot of an Israeli soldier's ammunition. (File, AP)

A shot of an Israeli soldier's ammunition. (File, AP)

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Jerusalem - Reviews of shootings in which Israeli security forces killed a knife-wielding Palestinian and another throwing stones found the use of deadly violence could have been avoided, public radio reported on Tuesday.

An Israeli military spokesperson confirmed the cases had been looked into as part of routine procedure, but was unable to comment on the reported findings.

It was unclear if the officers involved would face further action.

Citing an internal army document, the radio said border police under the command of the military fired a hail of bullets when they killed a knife-wielding Palestinian woman on October 19.

They initially followed regulations, firing warning shots into the air followed by a single round at the 19-year-old's legs when she failed to stop at the Tapuah junction in the northern West Bank.

Four officers then fired more than 30 rounds at her, said the report.

Video footage that emerged of the shooting appeared to show four officers firing after she was already on the ground.

Another case reviewed was that of the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Palestinian stone thrower Khaled Bahar the following day near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Public radio said the army review reported that the shooting occurred after a patrol pursued young Palestinians who had stoned a passing Israeli bus.

"One of the youths tried to throw a stone at short range at the force commander who shot and killed him," the report said.

"According to the enquiry there was no danger to life [to the commander]. He should not have fired at the central body mass in order to kill."

Routine procedure

An army spokesperson confirmed that those and other recent cases not resulting in fatalities had been looked at as part of routine procedure.

"It was an operational review to inspect and improve our performance on the ground," spokesperson Arye Shalicar told AFP.

He would not confirm the review's reported findings, but said military police automatically investigate fatalities and it was for them to decide if there had been improper behaviour.

Israeli security forces have been accused of using disproportionate force in a number of cases over the past year.

An Israeli soldier is on trial for manslaughter after video emerged showing him shoot a wounded Palestinian attacker in the head in March as he lay on the ground without seeming to pose any further threat.

Police were also criticised for the shooting of a Palestinian teenage girl involved in a stabbing attack with scissors in November 2015.

Footage appeared to show an officer shoot the girl again as she was already on the ground.

Violence since October 2015 has killed 235 Palestinians, 36 Israelis, two Americans, one Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese national, according to an AFP count.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.

Others were shot dead during protests or clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Read more on:    palestine  |  israel

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