IDF investigation finds Palestinian youth accidentally shot in Monday riot

According to initial IDF probe, 13-year-old's death was the result of a bullet accidentally ricocheting off the ground and striking him.

October 6, 2015 17:23
2 minute read.
Palestinian boy

Mourners carry the body of 13-year-old Palestinian Abdel Rahman Abdullah, who was shot dead by the Israeli army during clashes at a refugee camp near Bethlehem, during his funeral at the Aida refugee camp near the West Bank town of Bethlehem on October 6, 2015. . (photo credit: MUSA AL-SHAER / AFP)

A Palestinian youth who was shot and killed during a violent clash with the IDF in Bethlehem on Monday was accidentally struck by a Ruger round that was aimed at an adult rioter, an initial IDF investigation found on Tuesday.

According to a senior IDF source, at the time of the incident, "a very violent disturbance had occurred at Rachel's Tomb." The IDF fired Ruger rounds to disperse Palestinians who had been hurling rocks, firebombs, and explosive devices on Monday.

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"The decision to fire on a central instigator in the riot was right," the source said. But the bullet missed its target and ricocheted off the ground into the boy's chest, striking and killing him.

On Monday, a Bethlehem hospital said Abdel-Rahman Abeidallah, a 12-year-old boy, died of a bullet wound to the heart sustained during a clash with the IDF near Bethlehem.

Abeidallah was a resident of the nearby al-Aidah refugee camp.

Rachel's Tomb was again the scene of rioting on Tuesday, when 300 Palestinian hurled rocks, firebombs, and three explosive devices at the IDF. Soldiers responded with non-lethal crowd control measures.

There were in injuries in that clash.

Clashes continued to occur on Tuesday, though in smaller numbers compared to previous days.

On Tuesday evening, some 150 Palestinians launched a violent disturbance at Ayosh Square in Ramallah, near Bet El. They hurled firebombs, rocks, and burning tires. The IDF and Border Police fired Ruger rifle rounds, sponge grenades, and rubber bullets. "Nine central instigators were struck in the legs," an army spokeswoman said.

Clashes also occurred in Hebron, Al-Furar, and Helkat Kalev. In Kalandia, some 100 Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs at soldiers, who responded with non-lethal riot dispersal means and Ruger rounds fired at legs. A Border policeman was lightly injured in that clash.

On Sunday, a Border Police officer was lightly hurt by shrapnel in one of his legs when a pipe bomb was thrown at officers stationed at Rachel’s Tomb. He was treated at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and released later in the day.

Shortly before the attack, a number of rioters had descended upon the area to throw stones at soldiers and worshipers, Border Police said.

On Sunday night, a Palestinian rioter was shot and killed during a violent clash with the IDF in Tulkarm.

According to an army spokeswoman, before the shooting, some 100 to 200 Palestinians affiliated with Hamas threw rocks and firebombs at soldiers in the area of the Tulkarm crossing.

Ben Hartman and Reuters contributed to this report

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