Palestinians outraged over ‘maltreatment’ of teen shot by IDF

Army says Qusay Umour died after receiving medical treatment; video shows troops hauling him from scene of riot; IDF said they had to move quickly because they were under attack

IDF troops carry a Palestinian teen who later died of a gunshot wound during a violent protest near Bethlehem on January 16, 2017. (screen capture: YouTube)
IDF troops carry a Palestinian teen who later died of a gunshot wound during a violent protest near Bethlehem on January 16, 2017. (screen capture: YouTube)

Palestinians voiced outrage Tuesday after footage surfaced appearing to show Israeli troops dragging a teenager after he was shot at the scene of clashes near the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Monday. The teen later died of his wounds. The IDF said it evacuated him for medical treatment, and that troops were endangered by stone-throwing as they did so and had to move quickly.

The IDF said the shooting occurred during a “violent riot” in which Palestinian hurled rocks at security forces in the Bethlehem-area village of Tuqua, near the settlement of Tekoa in the Etzion Bloc.

The Tuqua municipality identified the youth as 17-year-old Qusay Hussein Umour.

“Due to the extent of violence, Border Police fired 0.22-caliber rounds toward the main violence instigator, resulting in his death,” an army spokeswoman said.

The video published online shows Umour lying prone on the ground, apparently after he was shot by Border Police troops during the clashes.

The soldiers are seen rushing over to the teen. They lift him off the ground by his limbs and carry him to an armored vehicle. The troops can be seen providing medical treatment shortly thereafter and are then pelted by stones and firebombs.

The Palestinian Red Crescent, quoted by the Ma’an news agency, said Umour was detained by Israeli forces after being shot three times, and only handed over to the Palestinians for medical treatment after he had died.

Palestinians expressed outrage at the manner in which he was treated by Israeli servicemen. At Umour’s funeral, a relative said after seeing the video that the soldiers “dragged him in a brutal way to the military vehicle. Nobody in the world would do that,” the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.

The IDF said Umour was still alive when he was moved by the soldiers, and said he had only been shot once, not three times.

The IDF said in a statement that after soldiers identified that Umour was shot, “an IDF unit reached the injured to provide him immediate medical treatment. During the evacuation, stones were thrown at the force in a way that endangered it, and therefore the injured was evacuated quickly to a secure location where medical treatment was provided, which concluded in pronouncing [the man’s] death.”

The IDF added that the incident was under investigation.

A spate of stabbings, car-rammings and shooting attacks by Palestinian assailants that began more than a year ago has waned over the several months, though sporadic incidents have persisted.

Since October, 40 Israelis, two Americans and an Eritrean national were killed in stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks.

According to AFP figures, some 249 Palestinians, a Jordanian and a Sudanese migrant were also killed during the violent spurt, most of them in the course of carrying out attacks, Israel says, and many of the others in clashes with troops in the West Bank and at the Gaza border, as well as in Israeli airstrikes in the Strip.

AFP contributed to this report.

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