Military police investigating death of Palestinian shot by IDF

IDF fired at suspect who climbed on military jeep during riots; Palestinians say IDF jeep ran 19-year-old over.

July 3, 2013 01:11
2 minute read.
IDF soldier takes cover in West Bank town of Dura, south of Hebron [file]

Israeli soldier in West Bank town of Dura 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Military Police and the Palestinian Authority are investigating the death of Palestinian Moataz Sharawneh, 19, shot in pre-dawn clashes with the IDF that broke out in the Palestinian village of Dura, near the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday.

He was buried in his home village of Dura late in the afternoon. His white-shroudwrapped body, open around his face, was carried through the streets on a gurney, surrounded by waving Palestinian flags.

Before his burial, a Palestinian pathological center in Abu Dis outside of Jerusalem conducted an autopsy. It’s expected the report will be released in the coming days.

Sharawneh’s death occurred during an incident that began when the IDF entered Dura for a routine patrol.

Palestinians threw stones at the patrol, whose soldiers responded with riot dispersal means, an IDF spokesman said. Sharawneh was shot during the incident, the IDF added.

Full details of the incident were still under investigation, the IDF said. It added that it had not yet even determined what type of bullet wounded Sharawneh or if that was the cause of death.

The IDF had initially reported that Sharawneh and a few other Palestinians had climbed on top of an IDF jeep, right before the shooting.

Dura residents gave conflicting testimonies about the circumstances surrounding Sharawneh’s death. The young man was a cadet at a security academy in Jericho.

Sharawneh was on his way home from a wedding around 1 a.m. when he saw clashes between IDF soldiers and young men in the center of the town, according to Dura residents.

Kamel Hmeid, Palestinian Authority governor of Hebron, said that Sharawneh had only tried to hoist a Palestinian flag when he was run over by an IDF vehicle.

Other Dura residents claimed he had been shot to death.

One eyewitness, Basel Nasser, claimed that IDF soldiers kicked and beat Sharawneh with the butt of their rifles after he fell to the ground.

Nasser claimed that the soldiers kept Sharawneh lying on the ground for almost 30 minutes before a local ambulance rushed him to hospital.

Dr. Walid Zaloum, director of the Hebron Government Hospital, said that Sharawneh was hit with a single bullet, which penetrated his back and stayed in his chest.

According to Zaloum, the body also had signs of tires, indicating that Sharawneh had also been run over by a vehicle.

Sharawneh was still alive when the Red Crescent evacuated him from the scene to the hospital, according to the IDF.

The IDF said its investigation was still ongoing and that, depending on the results, the matter could be turned over to the military prosecutor’s office.

“We hold the Israeli authorities fully responsible for this crime,” Hmeid said. “This crime was unjustified.”

Violence in the West Bank has risen since the beginning of 2013. Israeli forces have killed 10 Palestinians there this year, most of them in clashes, compared with three killed in the same period in 2012, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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