Palestinians to Exhume Body of Youth Killed in Nakba Day Protest

Family of Nadim Nuwara claims he was killed by Israeli live fire, hopes autopsy will shed more light on circumstances of his death; family of second fatality, Muhammad Salameh, are refusing exhumation.

The body of Nadim Nuwara, a Palestinian youth who was shot and killed apparently by an Israel Defense Forces soldier in the West Bank village of Beitunia last month, will be exhumed Wednesday in an attempt to clarify the circumstances of his death.

The family of the second youth killed during the same Nakba Day demonstration, Muhammad Salameh, has refused to exhume his body for the investigation.

Video footage circulating online and in the media documented the moments of the shooting, showing Israeli soldiers and Border Policemen just dozens of meters away.

The army claims its troops fired only rubber bullets during the demonstration, but the victims' families and the medical teams that treated them claim they were hit by live fire.

Nuwara's father Siam told Haaretz after the incident that he was willing to exhume his son's body, a move not usually sanctioned in Muslim law, in order to prove that his son was indeed killed by live fire. The elder Nuwara said that he could prove the matter, as he found in the knapsack his son was wearing that day the bullet that entered his back.

Shawan Jabarin, of the Al Haq human rights organization which has been assisting the family, said that the body's exhumation is being carried out in cooperation with the the Israel Defense Forces Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Unit (COGAT) and that Muslim clerics would be on site as it takes place. The family has received a religious ruling from the Palestinian mufti allowing the exhumation.

The body will then be transferred to the Palestinian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Dis. The autopsy will be overseen by Dr. Saber Al-Aloul, the head of the institute, as well as a representative from the Israeli National Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Kabir, and American, Danish and Portuguese pathologists. Jabarin said that the body would be returned immediately to the family for reburial once the autopsy is complete.

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.