Palestinians bury teen shot ‘by mistake’ by IDF soldiers

Family of 15-year-old killed during pursuit of stone-throwers calls for troops who shot him to be held to account

Mourners carry the body of 15-year-old Palestinian teenager Mahmoud Badran who was killed by Israeli troops on June 21, 2016, during his funeral in the village of Beit Ur-Tahta near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 23, 2016. (AFP/Abbas Momani)
Mourners carry the body of 15-year-old Palestinian teenager Mahmoud Badran who was killed by Israeli troops on June 21, 2016, during his funeral in the village of Beit Ur-Tahta near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 23, 2016. (AFP/Abbas Momani)

Several thousand Palestinians attended the funeral Thursday of a 15-year-old shot dead by Israeli troops who apparently mistook him for a stone-thrower, while new details of the incident emerged.

As the procession of mourners, among whom were Arab members of Knesset, left the home of the teenager’s family in Beit Ur near Ramallah in the West Bank, his mother demanded justice.

“It was not a mistake,” Amal Badran said. “They have to be held accountable. Justice must be carried out.”

She said her son had suffered an injustice “like all of the Palestinian people.”

Mahmoud Badran (via Twitter)
Mahmoud Badran (via Twitter)

Her son, Mahmoud Rafat Badran, was returning from a visit to a water park early Tuesday when soldiers opened fire on the car in which he was travelling, killing him and wounding four of his teenage cousins.

The incident sparked outrage and renewed debate over when Israeli forces should open fire.

The military said the overnight shooting followed stone-throwing at Israelis traveling on a road that cuts through the West Bank for several miles on its way from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

Israeli media reported two foreigners and one Israeli lightly wounded by stone-throwing. The stone-throwers were also said to have hurled firebombs at passing cars and poured oil on the road.

The army initially said troops fired toward the assailants, but it has since revised its account, saying a probe has shown that Badran and the others were shot by mistake.

An investigation has been opened into the circumstances of the incident.

The daily Haaretz reported Thursday that a vehicle transporting a platoon commander and two soldiers had been hit by stones in the area and they made a U-turn to search for the perpetrators.

The officer and one of the soldiers exited their vehicle, later opening fire on a car traveling at high speed which they believed to be carrying the assailants, the paper reported, citing testimony in the probe.

The paper said the officer had “fired many bullets.”

PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat condemned the shooting, saying Badran had been “murdered” and calling it a “cold-blooded assassination.”

 

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