A demonstrator holds Palestinian holds during clashes with Israeli troops, during a tent city protest along the Israel border with Gaza, demanding the right to return to their homeland, east of Gaza City March 30, 2018..
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)
A video of an incident near the border with the northern Gaza Strip on Friday appears to show an Israeli soldier shooting a young Palestinian close to Jabalya while he is running away from the security fence.
The footage shows the Palestinian carrying a tire and running away from the border fence before falling to the ground after seemingly being shot.
A senior official in the Health Ministry in Gaza told The Jerusalem Post
that the Palestinian seen in the video was 18-year-old Abdel Fattah Abed al-Nabi, who died shortly after being hit by gunfire.
The incident occurred during a major protest on the Gazan side of the border in support of the return of Palestinian refugees (and their descendants) to their former homes in Israel.
The IDF described the protest as “a violent riot,” asserting that participants threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security personnel as well as opened fire on them, attempted to infiltrate Israel and set rubber tires alight. Pictures and videos appear to show that some protesters took part in violent actions.
In the past week, several IDF officials called on Palestinians not to approach the border fence, warning them that they would be putting themselves in danger.
However, the video of the young Palestinian shows that he was dozens of meters away from the security fence. It also does not show him undertaking any of the violent actions the IDF said protesters had been carrying out.
It is unclear what he was doing in the time proceeding the video footage.
Riot in Gaza on March 30, 2018 (IDF Spokesperson's Office)
When asked about the video and if the young Palestinian was a threat, the IDF responded with the following statement:
“The Hamas terrorist organization has published several videos, some of which only depict parts of incidents while others are edited or completely fabricated.
During yesterday’s violent riots and terrorist attacks, IDF troops faced gunshots, infiltration attempts, damage to security infrastructure, firebombs, rocks and rolling burning tires. The IDF operated in strict accordance with the rules of engagement, firing only when necessary and avoiding civilians strategically placed by Hamas in harm’s way. IDF operational activity prevented the Hamas terrorist organization’s objective to harm security infrastructure and attempts to violate Israeli sovereignty.
“Don’t take Hamas’s propaganda as fact. The IDF will continue operating in order to ensure Israeli sovereignty is not breached and to protect Israeli civilians. The participants of the violent riots are situating themselves in a dangerous area, thus putting themselves in harm’s way,” the army said.
An IDF spokesman declined to comment on any follow-up questions to the military’s statement, including on whether the video of the young Palestinian was edited or fabricated.
According to Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the Hamasrun Health Ministry, 15 Palestinians were killed while participating in the protest on Friday.
On Saturday, the Izzadin Kassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, announced that five of the deceased Palestinians were Kassam members
. Abed al-Nabi, the young Palestinian, was not listed as one of the dead Kassam members.
Later on Saturday, however, the IDF said that 10 of the 15 Palestinians who died, including Abed al-Nabi, were a part of armed groups in Gaza.
Specifically, the IDF said that Abed al-Nabi was an activist in the Kassam Brigades. Pictures of his remains show him wrapped in a green Hamas flag.
Nonetheless, in an interview with The Washington Post
, Abed al-Nabi’s family denied that he belonged to any armed faction.