Video Shows Israeli Soldiers Shooting to Death a Palestinian Teen as He Tries to Flee in 2013 Incident

Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger
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Israeli soldiers firing tear gas during clashes at the funeral of Samir Awad in the West Bank village of Budrus.
Israeli soldiers firing tear gas during clashes at the funeral of Samir Awad in the West Bank village of Budrus. Credit: AFP
Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

A newly released video of a fatal shooting incident in which two Israel Defense Forces soldiers shot to death a 16-year-old Palestinian in 2013 reveals how the soldiers fired at Samir Awad while he was trying to flee from them.

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The video, which was initially published by Ynet News' Yoav Zeitun, shows Awad crossing the security fence into Israel and then trying to flee back to the Palestinian side after he was identified by the two soldiers (an officer and a lower ranking soldier from the IDF's Armored Corps). The two can then be seen shooting at Awad as he runs away.

Earlier this week, the prosecution retracted the indictment in the case against the two soldiers, citing "evidential difficulty" in proving that they were both to blame for the Palestinian teen's death.

Video shows fatal shooting of Samir AwadCredit: Haaretz/YouTube

The video shows Awad crossing the first part of the security fence near the Palestinian village of Budrus where he is from.

When the soldiers spot him he can be seen standing in front of the second part of the fence. The soldiers are documented charging at him; Awad apparently realized at that point that his presence was detected by the Israeli military and can then be seen climbing back up on the fence toward his village and fleeing the scene.

Palestinian teen Samir Awad, who was shot to death by Israeli soldiers as he tried to flee from Israel back into Palestinian territory. Credit: ללא קרדיט

At this point, a stun grenade is hurled at the teen and in a few seconds thereafter, the soldiers start shooting. The bullets fired by the soldiers clearly injured Awad, although to this day it remains unclear whether the bullet that killed him was fired by the officer or the soldier. Awad was later pronounced dead.

The video clearly shows the Palestinian teen was in flight as he was shot by the soldiers. Even when Awad was already back on Palestinian soil and heading toward the village of Budrus, the soldiers continued to shoot at him.

An investigation regarding the circumstances of Awad's death was opened and the indictments against the two soldiers were filed. They were accused of a "rash act" but not of killing the teen.

Nonetheless, Haaretz revealed this week that the prosecution walked back on this charge as well, due to the fact that it remains unclear which of the soldiers killed Awad.  

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