In first, IDF opens investigations into pair of deaths in Gaza border clashes
search

In first, IDF opens investigations into pair of deaths in Gaza border clashes

Military advocate general orders probes of killings of two Palestinian teens due to ‘suspicion that the shootings were not in accordance with the rules of engagement’

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

Palestinians carry a demonstrator injured during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel east of Gaza City on May 14, 2018 (AFP PHOTO / Thomas COEX)
Palestinians carry a demonstrator injured during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel east of Gaza City on May 14, 2018 (AFP PHOTO / Thomas COEX)

For the first time since weekly Gaza border protests began four months ago, the IDF announced Tuesday that it would be opening investigations into the deaths of two Palestinians killed during clashes with Israeli forces.

Military Advocate General Sharon Afek ordered probes be opened into the March 30 shooting of Abdel Fattah Abdel Nabi, 18, and the July 13 shooting of Othman Helles, 15, “in light of the suspicion that the shootings were not in accordance with the rules of engagement,” the IDF said in a statement.

Footage aired by Palestinian media from the March 30 incident appears to show Abdel Nabi carrying a large tire and running away from the border toward the main body of demonstrators, when he is shot and falls to the ground.

At the time, the IDF said in a statement that Hamas had published a number of videos “some of which only depict parts of incidents while other are edited or completely fabricated.”

Footage of the July 13 incident, appears to show Helles climbing the Gaza border fence before being shot.

At the time, the IDF released a statement saying the 15-year-old had attempted to infiltrate into Israel, though Palestinians have disputed this.

 

Over the past four months the “March of Return” protests have led to deadly clashes that saw Israeli security forces facing Palestinian gunfire, grenades, Molotov cocktails, and efforts — sometimes successful — to damage or cross the border fence.

Palestinian demonstrators carry tires to burn during a rally along the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, east of Gaza City, on August 17, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

At least 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the weekly protests began, the Hamas-run health ministry says. Hamas, a terror group that seized control of Gaza in 2007 and seeks to destroy Israel, has acknowledged that dozens of those killed were its members.

On Friday, thousands of Gazans demonstrated along the Israeli border near the Erez Crossing in weekly Hamas-backed “March of Return” demonstrations. Hamas leaders had urged the public to participate in Friday’s protests. Rioters hurled rocks, improvised bombs and Molotov cocktails at soldiers and burned tires to create a smokescreen. Others launched incendiary balloons toward Israel.

Two Palestinian men were reported killed and around 250 injured, of which at least 25 were said hit by live fire, in those protests.

Recent months have seen repeated rounds of intense violence between Israel and Hamas, along with weekly border protests at the Gaza border that have regularly included rioting, attacks on Israeli troops and attempts to infiltrate and sabotage the border fence. In addition, balloons and kites launched from Gaza bearing incendiary devices have caused hundreds of fires in southern Israel that have burned thousands of acres of land.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments