Israel Investigates Lethal Shooting of Palestinian Teen in Clashes With Army

After video of soldiers dragging the 17-year-old emerges, police and army to look into last week's events in West Bank village of Tuqu.

Israel investigates lethal shooting of shooting of 17-year-old Qusai al-Amour in West Bank village of Tuqu.
Israel investigates lethal shooting of shooting of 17-year-old Qusai al-Amour in West Bank village of Tuqu. B'Tselem / Screengrab

Investigators are looking into the lethal shooting of 17-year-old Qusai al-Amour in the West Bank village of Tuqu, which occurred during clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli army last week.

The incident, which took place last Monday, drew criticism after a video captured Israel Defense Forces soldiers dragging al-Amour by his limbs while his head banged against the ground. The army explained that the soldiers evacuated al-Amour from the site because they were being pelted by stones, and that they took him to their vehicle to try to resuscitate him. The police and army have opened an investigation into the shooting.

A video of the wounded teen being evacuated by Israeli soldiers after being shot during clashes. YouTube

The army reported that al-Amour threw stones at the soldiers, who then responded by firing at him. He died after being hit by a bullet from a Ruger 10/22, the .22-caliber rifle used by Israeli forces for dispersing riots with live rounds. Al-Amour was likely killed by a bullet fired by military police officers.

Ruger bullets are believed to have relatively weak impact in comparison to regular bullets used by the army, which are 5.56mm. According to data compiled by the human rights group B'Tselem, five Palestinians were killed and hundreds were wounded from these bullets since March 2015.

Mourners carry the body of Qusai Al Amour at his funeral in the West Bank village of Tuqu, January 17, 2017.
MUSA AL SHAER/AFP

"During violent riots in which over 200 Palestinians participated in the Tuqu, which included stone throwing and firebombs targeting security officials, Border Police officers returned fire towards the rioters," the army said of the incident. "After a hit was identified, forces went to the suspect to arrest him and give him medical care. During his evacuation, stones were thrown at security forces in way that posed a threat to them and to the suspect, and therefore the suspect was evacuated quickly to a safe place, where medical care was administered and afterwards he was declared dead."

The Justice Ministry's policy states that a joint investigation by the army and the police must be made into every instance of a Palestinian killed in the West Bank during a non-combat situation, such as when a Palestinian directly attacks a soldier. Thus an investigation has been opened into al-Amour's case, and the army says all aspects of the incident are being looked into