Autopsy Reveals Palestinian Teen Killed by Live Fire in Nakba Day Clashes

Though the official results have not been compiled, sources say entry and exit wounds indicate that Nadim Nuwara was shot dead last month with a non-rubber-coated bullet.

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Mourners carrying the body of Palestinian teen Nadim Nuwara, who was killed in a clash with Israeli troops on May 15, during his funeral in Ramallah, May 16, 2014.
Mourners carrying the body of Palestinian teen Nadim Nuwara, who was killed in a clash with Israeli troops on May 15, during his funeral in Ramallah, May 16, 2014.Credit: AP

An autopsy of Nadim Nuwara, a Palestinian youth who was shot dead during Nakba Day protests in the West Bank last month, was completed Wednesday, and the findings support claims that he was killed by live ammunition.

According to officials with knowledge of the autopsy, Nuwara’s body was in fairly good condition, so the entry and exit wounds could be clearly identified. The wounds indicate that Nuwara was shot with live ammunition, they say. But the official autopsy report has not yet be compiled. Two experts from the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv joined the team at the Palestinian Institute of Forensic Medicine in the West Bank town of Abu Dis for the autopsy. Two experts from the United States and Canada were also present.

Nuwara’s father, Siam Nuwara, told Haaretz yesterday that he had not received any official information regarding the results of the autopsy. The information released thus far to the media is not official, and Nuwara is still waiting for the official report from the Palestinian prosecution.

Nuwara said the unofficial report is not surprising given the information he has and the bullet found in Nadim Nuwara's backpack, which he believes proves his son was shot with live ammunition. “We agreed to this very drastic move to prove to Israel and the international community that Nadim was shot with live ammunition,” said Siam Nuwara, referring to his son's exhumation for examination.

A month ago, Nadim Nuwara and Mohammed Abu Daher were shot to death during a Nakba Day protest near the Beitunia border crossing. On Nakba Day, Palestinians commemorate "the catastrophe" of what happened to them when Israel was founded in 1948.

A clash broke out between Israeli forces, including Border Police officers and Israel Defense Forces soldiers from an artillery battalion, and Palestinian protesters. Video filmed at the scene at the time the two boys were shot shows that soldiers and patrolmen were a few dozen meters from them. According to the two boys’ families, they were shot with live ammunition, though the IDF has claimed that only rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades were used at the scene. During an investigation conducted by the IDF’s Central Command, it was revealed that only the Border Police troops used rubber bullets. The soldiers present later claimed they did not use live ammunition.

Pictures of the wounds inflicted on the two boys were given to the joint military police and Israel Police investigation team. The Nuwara family gave a bullet to Palestinian prosecutors yesterday, which they claim is the one that killed Nurawa. The police investigators believe that examining the bullet will provide further insight into the circumstances of the his death. A police official said that for the investigation to get anywhere, “we need to have the bullet,” though he also stated that even then, the likelihood of matching it to a weapon is very low.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said, “The issue is under investigation.”

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