Israeli Army Opens Criminal Investigation Into Killing of Gaza Double Amputee After New Footage Surfaces

An investigation has been opened due to the large disparity in findings of army inquiry and those of Gaza groups; army seeks to attain testimony from Gaza witnesses

Ibraheem Abu Thuraya gestures during a protest near the border with Israel in the east of Gaza City December 15, 2017.
MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS

Military Police have opened an investigation into the death of Gaza double-leg amputee Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, who was killed in clashes with Israeli troops at a Gaza border demonstration in December, due to the significant disparity in the findings of an army inquiry into the incident and those of Palestinian groups inside the Gaza Strip.

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The army said it had also received information on a photographer who documented the protest in which Abu Thuraya took part, who possibly holds information pertinent to the investigation.

The army has asked the Red Cross to relay the Palestinian autopsy report and to ascertain whether a Palestinian who testified that he had seen the shooting would agree to provide a testimony at the Erez border crossing with Israel.

A military inquiry into the death of the 29-year-old wheelchair user carried out after the incident said it was unable to conclude whether he was killed by Israeli forces or otherwise. Soldiers present claimed that live rounds were not fired at Abu Thuraya, and that there was not enough information to ascertain if riot dispersal means employed by soldiers were the cause of Abu Thuraya's death.

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Abu Thuraya, who lost both his legs in an Israeli airstrike in 2009, was killed during a day of violent demonstrations in the Gaza Strip on December 15. The military inquiry on the incident said the demonstration he attended involved thousands of violent rioters, and took place in conjunction with several other similarly violent demonstrations at other locations along the Gaza border with Israel.

During the demonstration Abu Thuraya attended, Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli soldiers along the border, hurled explosives at them and burned tires, the report said. Some of the demonstrators also tried to sabotage the border fence.