IDF shoots handcuffed, blindfolded Palestinian suspect during escape attempt
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IDF shoots handcuffed, blindfolded Palestinian suspect during escape attempt

Troops filmed threatening bystanders who seek to aid Osama al-Badn, 16, nabbed for throwing rocks, after he was shot from behind; army says it provided immediate medical treatment

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

An IDF soldier chases a Palestinians suspect as he tries to escape in the West Bank town of Tuqu on April 18, 2019. (Mohammad Hmeid)
An IDF soldier chases a Palestinians suspect as he tries to escape in the West Bank town of Tuqu on April 18, 2019. (Mohammad Hmeid)

Israel Defense Forces soldiers last week shot and seriously injured a blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinian teen as he tried to escape arrest in the central West Bank.

Reports in Palestinian media said 16-year-old Osama al-Badn was detained during clashes with Israeli security forces in the town of Tuqu, outside the settlement of Tekoa, just south of Bethlehem, on Thursday.

The military said he was throwing rocks at troops and Israeli civilians nearby.

Shortly after he was arrested, eyewitnesses said Badn made a run for it, and the soldiers shot him from behind to stop his escape.

An IDF soldier confronts Palestinians outside the West Bank town of Tuqu on April 18, 2019. (screen capture: Mohammad Hmeid)

Badn said Monday that he was walking home from a funeral in the village when he was grabbed. He said soldiers bound him and shouted at him in Hebrew and Arabic. He was “confused” and started walking away when he was shot.

Parts of the incident were filmed by Palestinians, who told Hebrew-language media that the soldiers initially prevented bystanders from evacuating Badn to a hospital.

“There were clashes going on at the time, and [troops] grabbed him and were holding him for about 15 minutes,” Muhammad Hajaza told Channel 12.

“The clashes got more serious and the young man decided to flee even though he was blindfolded and handcuffed,” Hajaza said. “The soldier who ran after him shot the teen with a pistol from 15 meters away.”

#شاهد| من مسافة صفر واستخدام مسدس الاحتلال يطلق النار على شاب في بلدة تقوع ويصيبه بجروح خطيرة.

פורסם על ידי ‏‎Mohammad Hmeid‎‏ ב- יום חמישי, 18 באפריל 2019

Hajaza said Badr was shot in the lower body and the soldiers at first did not let bystanders attend to him, a claim the IDF denied outright.

Footage of the incident filmed by Musa Hamid showed the soldiers pointing a sniper rifle at the group of bystanders crowding around the injured teen. In the clip, one officer is seen giving the teen first aid alongside a Palestinian woman, while another soldier points his weapon at the bystanders, warning them to stay away or “you’ll get shot.”

The troops eventually stand down, and allow the group of Palestinians to carry Badr away.

Badr was taken to a hospital in Bethlehem. Doctors told the Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency that he was in serious condition but was expected to recover.

An IDF soldier talks to a Palestinians woman in the West Bank town of Tuqu on April 18, 2019. (Mohammad Hmeid)

On Sunday, the IDF confirmed the incident, saying in a statement to Haaretz that troops arrested Badr after a “violent riot that included stone throwing at security forces and Israeli cars, which threatened the lives of civilians and security forces.”

The army said troops used standard riot dispersal methods to break up the disturbance, and confirmed opening fire on a detainee who tried to escape. The statement said that security forces gave the teen “immediate medical attention,” but said the incident would be looked at again.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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