'Palestinian dies 2 weeks after being shot by IDF'

Activist dies in TA hospital two week after IDF soldiers shoot him in the head with a rubber bullet, according to Palestinian reports.

Hebron pro-Palestinian protest police_311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Hebron pro-Palestinian protest police_311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A funeral will take place at noon on Friday for Muhammad Asfour, 22, who died Thursday, two weeks after soldiers shot him in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet during clashes in the course of a protest in his home village of Abud, northwest of Ramallah, on February 22.
On Thursday, Israeli authorities handed Asfour’s body over to his family.
Asfour was two days short of celebrating of his 23rd birthday, according to Abir Kopty of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.
After Asfour as wounded at the protest in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, he was taken to a medical center in Nablus.
But because his condition was critical he was transferred to Ichilov Hospital at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
Asfour was a fourth-year physical education student at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis. He had been a member of his village’s soccer team.
According to Kopty, Asfour is the fifth Palestinian the army has fatally shot in the West Bank in 2013.
The IDF told The Jerusalem Post that it had opened an investigation into the incident upon hearing of Asfour’s death.
It explained that on February 22, a violent and illegal demonstration took place northwest of Ramallah, in which scores of Palestinians threw stones at security personnel, who responded with riot dispersal means.
The IDF only received a report that Asfour had been wounded days later, it said.
Earlier on Thursday, the B’Tselem NGO wrote to Military Advocate- General Maj.-Gen. Danny Efroni, demanding immediate investigations when soldiers severely wound Palestinians, as happened to Asfour.
The Military Advocate-General’s Office has a policy of immediately investigating the deaths of Palestinians killed by the IDF, and this needs to be extended to cases of severe injury, B’Tselem director Jessica Montel said.
In her letter to the military advocate- general, wrote, “There is no doubt that the two-week delay since the event will harm the effectiveness of the investigation.”
The army, she said, must also investigate the orders given for the use of rubber-coated steel bullets during the protest. She added that her organization had repeatedly warned against the danger of such bullets.
B’Tselem also asked the IDF to investigate four other incidents, including one that occurred on February 25, in which the soldiers shot Muhammed al-Kurdi, during clashes with Palestinians near Rachel’s Tomb on the northern edge of Bethlehem.
That same day, Udai Saleh, 16, was shot in the head by a .22 caliber bullet.
He remains in critical condition at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.
On March 1, soldiers shot Mahmud Awwad in the head with a rubbercoated bullet near the Kalandiya checkpoint, north of the capital. He is serious condition at Hadassah Ein Kerem. On the same day, journalist Jihad al-Qadi, 23, was injured during a protest outside Ofer Prison, near Ramallah. He is in intensive care in Ramallah Medical Center.