Palestinians say video shows IDF shooting fleeing protester dead

Clips appear to show 18-year-old being hit while running away from border fence with a tire; IDF says Hamas videos ‘edited or completely fabricated’

A Palestinian video shows the alleged shooting of a protester with his back to the border, March 31, 2018 (Screen capture/YouTube)
A Palestinian video shows the alleged shooting of a protester with his back to the border, March 31, 2018 (Screen capture/YouTube)

A video aired on Palestinian media Saturday appeared to show an 18-year-old Palestinian being shot dead during Friday’s Gaza protests while running away from the border fence, with his back to Israeli troops.

The video purportedly shows Abdel Fattah Abdel Nabi running away from the border towards the main body of demonstrators while carrying a large tire, when he is shot and falls to the ground. Palestinians said the young man was killed.

There was no information on Abdel Nabi’s actions before the video was captured, or what he had been doing near the border.

The Israeli military said in a statement Saturday that Hamas has published a number of videos “some of which only depict parts of incidents while other are edited or completely fabricated.”

Friday’s clashes were the deadliest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza War. Israeli troops used live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas to keep thousands of Gazans from trying to approach the border fence. The military said protesters threw firebombs and rocks at soldiers, rolled burning tires at them and in one incident opened fire.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 16 Palestinians were killed and over 1,400 injured by Israel during the mass protests. It said more than 750 people were hurt by live rounds.

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said the military has thus far restricted its response to those trying to breach its border, but if attacks continue it will go after terrorists “in other places, too.”

A Palestinian protester slings stones towards Israeli soldiers during clashes with Israeli troops along the Gaza Strip border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, March 30, 2018. (AP/Adel Hana)

Manelis said all those killed were engaged in violence. He said Gaza health officials exaggerated the number of those wounded, and that several dozen at most were injured by live fire while the rest were merely shaken up by tear gas and other riot dispersal means.

Manelis said the army faced “a violent, terrorist demonstration at six points” along the fence. He said the IDF used “pinpoint fire” wherever there were attempts to breach or damage the security fence. “All the fatalities were aged 18-30, several of the fatalities were known to us, and at least two of them were members of Hamas commando forces,” he said.

Hamas has said mass marches will continue until May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s creation. Palestinians mark that date as their “nakba,” or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.

Hamas is an Islamist terror group that seeks to destroy Israel. It seized control of Gaza from Abbas’s Fatah in 2007.

The Palestinian Authority declared Saturday a day of mourning for those killed.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel was “fully responsible” for the violence. In a speech broadcast on Palestine TV, Abbas said he has asked the United Nations to immediately work toward providing protection for the “defenseless” Palestinians. “The large number of martyrs and injured in peaceful demonstrations affirms the need for the international community to intervene to provide protection for our people,” Abbas said.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called Friday for “an independent and transparent investigation” into the deadly clashes, as Security Council members urged restraint and a lowering of tensions on both sides.

Israel was condemned by the Muslim world over the violence, with many accusing it of using “disproportionate force” against Palestinian rioters.

Ahead of the meeting, Israeli envoy to the UN Danny Danon told the Security Council that Hamas was intentionally endangering the lives of innocent civilians, and urged member states not to be “deceived” by the terrorist group.

Agencies contributed to this report

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