Policeman likely to be indicted for manslaughter in Beitunya shooting

Despite the evidence, Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court expresses doubt about finding sufficient evidence for specific intent to kill and a murder charge.

By
November 20, 2014 21:37
2 minute read.
Shooting of Palestinian teen

Screenshot of video purporting to show shooting of Palestinian teen by security forces‏.. (photo credit: B'TSELEM)

 
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The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office is expected as early as Sunday to indict a Border Police officer for manslaughter in the controversial and videotaped killing of a Palestinian minor in March.

In a Wednesday pretrial hearing, the court had already permitted publication of several key details of the investigation against the border policeman.

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Some of the details include that the blood of one Palestinian minor was found on a livefire bullet retrieved from the deceased minor’s body and that expert reports have connected the bullet with the border policeman’s gun.

Other pieces of evidence appear to include wiretapping of the policeman’s communications and some other persons involved in the incident.

Despite the evidence, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court expressed doubt about finding sufficient evidence for specific intent to kill and a murder charge, implying that a manslaughter charge would have a strong and much better chance.

It was also doubtful whether the policeman would be indicted for the killing of a separate Palestinian that day.

The policeman had appeared in court on November 12 a day after he was arrested in connection to the killing of the Palestinian teen in riots at Beitunya on “Nakba Day” in May.

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It had already been surmised that the charge would revolve around whether the officer used live ammunition and not rubber bullets, in violation of the rules of engagement for using deadly force.

The arrest involves the fatal shooting of Nadim Nuwara, 17, on Nakba Day in May.

Nuwara was killed when scores of Palestinians attacked IDF soldiers with stones at a protest near the Ofer Prison, located between Ramallah and the Givat Ze’ev settlement.

Palestinians and Israeli leftwing activists said that Nuwara and an additional teenager killed on that day, Muhammad Abu Daher, were shot with live ammunition, which soldiers are supposed to use only when their lives are in danger.

Palestinians said in June that an autopsy concluded that Nuwara had been killed by live fire. Palestinian, US and Danish pathologists were reportedly present at the autopsy in the Palestinian Institute of Forensic Medicine in the West Bank town of Abu Dis.

Video from security cameras on Palestinian properties close to the scene of last month’s protest showed the two teenagers falling to the ground in separate incidents.

Palestinians have claimed that the footage proves that the teenagers were shot despite posing no immediate threat to Israeli forces.

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