The family of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy shot dead by Israeli soldiers this month says it has footage showing that the boy did not throw a firebomb or otherwise endanger the soldiers who had entered his village.
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Bahaa Samir Badr was hit by a bullet in the chest in the village of Beit Laqia near Ramallah on October 16.
The family’s attorney, Naila Atiyeh, says that in addition to a complaint to the Military Police, she will file a civil suit at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva claiming that the boy was killed without justification. Neither the boy nor others at the site were a danger to the soldiers leaving the village, she says.
The army says a unit entered the village after stones were thrown in the area. When leaving, soldiers stepped out of their vehicle to fix a problem when Palestinians hurled firebombs at them from about 20 meters away, the soldiers said. The unit’s commander fired at them, fatally wounding the boy.
Both the child’s uncle, who lives near the site of the shooting, and the owner of a grocery store nearby told Haaretz that no one had provoked the soldiers. They said the children were 200 to 250 meters away from the soldiers and posed no threat.
The owner of the grocery store said he saw three jeeps leaving the village more than an hour after entering.
“Behind the jeeps were a few small children aged 10 to 12. We saw no stones or firebombs in their hands, and as the jeeps left the children stayed near the store,” he said.
“A few minutes later we heard shots and one of the children fell. I didn’t see anything in his hands, and he was too far behind the jeeps to be a danger to the soldiers.”
Atiyeh says she has footage showing the jeeps leaving the village, with young people walking around without provoking the soldiers.
Khaled Shabli, the uncle and a former village council head, said the jeeps stood near his house at the village’s entrance. The teens “were at least 200 to 250 meters away. The soldiers were in no danger but it seems that in their frustration they decided to open fire.”
According to the medical report issued by a hospital, the boy was hit by a bullet on the left side of the chest. It exited on the right side, also puncturing his right arm. He arrived at the hospital dead.
The IDF spokesman said in response that a violent, illegal disturbance took place in Beit Laqia on October 16, during which several rioters threw stones and firebombs at an IDF unit. One rioter threw firebombs from a short distance. The soldiers felt their life was in danger and after one of the firebombs hit the vehicle they opened fire, wounding the rioter critically. He was taken to hospital and later died.”