Border Police officer arrested in connection to killing of Palestinian teen in Nakba Day riot

Military sources had previously denied that live fire was used to control May rioting.

Screenshot of video purporting to show shooting of Palestinian teen by security forces‏. (photo credit: B'TSELEM)
Screenshot of video purporting to show shooting of Palestinian teen by security forces‏.
(photo credit: B'TSELEM)
A Border Police officer appeared before a Jerusalem judge on Wednesday, the day after he was arrested in connection to the killing of a Palestinian teen in riots at Beitunya on “Nakba Day” in May.
The officer is being held on suspicion of murder, and on Wednesday a Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge extended his remand by six days.
On Tuesday police questioned a career Border Police officer who was at the scene of the shooting, but released him shortly thereafter.
Security camera footage of incident in Beitunya
The charge will 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.
The IDF denied the allegation and insisted that only rubber bullets were used. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has suggested the surveillance video might have been doctored, an allegation the human rights groups that distributed the material have denied.
At the time, an IDF source said 150 Palestinians who had gathered to mark Nakba Day threw firebombs and rocks at soldiers and border policemen, and rolled burning tires at them.
“The rioting was very serious,” an army source said after the incident. “This was a very aggressive attack on security personnel. We are examining the incident.”
Palestinians marked Nakba Day with marches and rallies in all the major cities of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Sirens went off for 66 seconds in many areas of the West Bank, one for each year since Israel was established.
Khaled Abu Toameh, Yaakov Lappin and Reuters contributed to this report.