Bil'in protester killing to be probed

Mandelblit changes mind, will investigate tear gas cannister death.

July 12, 2010 15:21
1 minute read.

Protestors Gas 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

A military panel will probe the 2009 death of a Palestinian protester in Bil'in, Military Advocate General Avichai Mandelblit ordered on Monday.

The move went against a previous decision not to investigate the death of Bassem Abu-Rahma, who was killed by a tear gas canister fired during a protest in the West Bank village.

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Video footage taken during the demonstration in which Abu-Rahma was killed shows IDF soldiers firing tear gas cannisters directly at protestors.

The original decision not to investigate the incident was based solely on testimony from IDF soldiers who claimed that they did not fire directly at the soldiers.  The video footage of the protest was completely ignored.

Human rights organizations B'tselem and Yesh Din praised the decision although they both said that the delay in the investigation was unacceptable.

An expert investigation into the firing of the cannister submitted to the MAG by B'Tselem helped bring about the decision to investigate the incident.

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