Bodies of Palestinian Siblings Killed After Alleged Stabbing Attempt at Qalandiyah to Undergo Autopsy

Lawyer says Taha family does not object to the autopsy as long as the bodies are handed over for burial immediately afterwards.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Maram Abu Ismayil, 23, and brother Ibrahim Salah Tahah, 16, shot after attempted stabbing at Qalandia checkpoint in West Bank. April 28, 2016
Maram Abu Ismayil, 23, and brother Ibrahim Salah Tahah, 16, shot after attempted stabbing at Qalandia checkpoint in West Bank. April 28, 2016Credit: Reuters, Mohamad Torokman
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Forensics experts will autopsy the bodies of siblings Maram Ismail, 26, and Ibrahim Taha, 16, shot to death at Qalandiyah checkpoint last month by private security guards after one of them allegedly threw a knife at Israeli forces.

The autopsy is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

Naila Attiya, the family's lawyer, said the family has no objections to the autopsy as long as the bodies are handed over for burial immediately afterwards. The family is also demanding to see security camera footage of the events. Israel has refused both requests.

The Taha family, citing witnesses, has contested Israel's version of events of the April 27 shootings, citing witnesses.

Scene of Qalandiyah checkpoint where the Palestinian siblings were killed on April 27, 2016Credit: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP

Israeli police said at the time that at least one of the two had pulled out a knife or thrown one, and that they both refused orders to come to a halt at the checkpoint.

Police later said that private security guards rather than police had shot the two and that they were looking into the possibility the shooting was carried out in violation of regulations. On Thursday a judge imposed a gag order on the details of the investigation.

Guards hired from private security firms by the Public Security Ministry are routinely assigned to checkpoints leading from the West Bank into Israel, working alongside police, border police and army troops. Most of the private guards don't come in contact with the Palestinian population at the checkpoints. They are generally stationed behind concrete positions and are there to protect the police and army personnel.

Ismail was a mother of two girls aged 4 and 5.

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