The IDF Spokesperson's Unit falsly claimed that a Palestinian protester shot by Israeli troops was holding a firebomb, Israeli left-wing online magazine Local Call (Sicha Mekomit) alleged earlier this week.
Last Friday, 19-year-old Bader Nidal Ahmad Nafleh was shot in the town of Qaffin near Tulkarm during the riots that broke out after the announcement of US President Donald Trump's "Deal of the Century."
According to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, the teenager, who was shot in the neck by a sniper, was holding a Molotov cocktail. The soldiers, said the unit, "responded with fire to neutralize the threat."
A video of the riot posted by the Palestinian Shehab News Agency showed several dozen Palestinians burning tires near the fence around the village. In the video, an IDF armored vehicle can be seen arriving at the scene.
A single gunshot is heard followed by shouting in Arabic. After the shot, a Red Crescent ambulance is seen evacuating a protester. According to Local Call, the shot in the video is the one that killed Nafleh.
"The soldier was not in any danger, he sat in an armored vehicle and decided to get out to shoot," a Palestinian in his thirties told Local Call at Nafleh's funeral. "We stood behind Bader when he was shot and killed," he continued. "An Israeli vehicle drove toward the gate and several teens threw rocks it its direction from the other side of the fence."
The witness said that "a soldier got out of the vehicle and made one shot toward Bader," claiming that the teen was not holding a Molotov cocktail when shot by the forces.
According to Local Call, the witness' claims are supported by the video, in which the protesters can be seen standing several dozen feet away from the vehicle, not putting the troops in jeopardy. The reason why the troops did not use crowd dispersal equipment, such as tear gas, but rather used live fire remains unknown.
Last week, a Palestinian police officer named Tareq Badwan was shot in Jenin by an IDF sniper, succumbing to his wounds hours later. The IDF later admitted wrongly shooting Badwan, while he "did not present a threat" to the forces.
With the death toll in the West Bank rising to four, three lone-wolf attacks against IDF soldiers and Border Police officers were carried out in the West Bank and Jerusalem, with more than a dozen casualties. No officers died in the attacks.
Last November, the IAF executed an airstrike in Deir el-Balah in the Gaza Strip, killing a family of eight, including five children, during a week-long wave of violence between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad following the assassination of PIJ commander Baha Abu al-Ata. Another family member succumbed to her wounds in the days that followed the incident."There is no justification to attacking civilians in #Gaza, or elsewhere! Such a tragedy! My heartfelt condolences to the family of Al-Sawarkah & I wish a speedy recovery to the injured. I call on #Israel to move swiftly with its investigation," UN Middle East Peace Process Envoy Nickolay Mladenov tweeted after the attack
There is no justification to attacking civilians in #Gaza, or elsewhere! Such a tragedy! My heartfelt condolences to the family of Al-Sawarkah & I wish a speedy recovery to the injured. I call on #Israel to move swiftly with its investigation.https://t.co/V4KCHxYKIT— Nickolay E. MLADENOV (@nmladenov) November 15, 2019
IDF Arabic-language Spokesperson Avichai Adrei commented on the incident, saying the tin building used by the family was a PIJ site in a Facebook post, adding that the family's father was a PIJ commander. The IDF later refuted Adrei's statement, saying the tent was listed in a "target bank" used by the IAF, not being checked by the soldiers before the airstrike.
In January 2020, Meir Baruchin, a civics teacher from Rishon Letzion, was terminated after writing on his Facebook page that the "IAF pilots chose to be murderers," referring to the airstrike that killed the Sawarka family.