Israel Investigates Possible Wrongful Shooting of Palestinian as Family Vows Legal Actions

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Palestinian residents of Silwad village attend the funeral of Iyad Hamed, 38, an unarmed man who was killed by Israeli troops who claim he appeared to be a Palestinian assailant running towards them on August 26, 2016.
Residents of Silwad village attend the funeral of 38-year-old Palestinian Iyad Hamed, August 26, 2016. Credit: Abbas Momani / AFP

The family of a Palestinian who was lethally shot Friday after allegedly charging an army outpost plans to sue Israel after the Israel Defense Forces admitted the man, Iyad Hamed, was unarmed at the time.

The soldier who shot the 38-year-old Palestinian at an IDF outpost in Silwad in the West Bank was questioned by the Military Police on Sunday. According to soldiers who were present at the scene, Hamed was running toward a fortified guard post near Silwad, not far from the settlement of Ofra, when he was shot. A preliminary investigation showed that Hamed did not pose a threat to the soldiers.

According to the policy of the military prosecution, a Military Police investigation is launched in the case of any death of a Palestinian in the West Bank who was “not involved in actual fighting.”

Israeli soldiers surround the body of a suspected Palestinian man who was reportedly shot dead by Israeli troops at the entrance to the West Bank village of Silwad on August 26, 2016. Credit: Abbas Momani, AFP

Hamed's family told Haaretz they are also demanding that the Israeli authorities make sure those responsible for his death are brought to justice, even though they said they were skeptical the military or political system would take any such initiative.

Relatives said that Hamed was hit by one bullet in the back that exited his body near his heart. They said it was clear he was shot in the back because the entry hole was small, but on the chest side the exit point was wide, with the shot apparently damaging his heart. Hamed’s body was not autopsied and was given to his family within a few hours for burial Friday.

The investigation will look into what exactly the soldiers were doing before they opened fire and why they fired when danger was not immediately clear. The claim that Hamed was shot in the back will also be investigated.

Hamed’s father and some of his brothers are American citizens, although Hamed himself never finished the procedure for acquiring citizenship.

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