Military Prosecutor to IDF: Probe Shooting Death of Two Palestinians

Prosecutor urges internal police, Judea and Samaria division already planning to look into incident.

The Israel Defense Forces' chief prosecutor on Tuesday ordered the army to open an internal investigation into the circumstances that led soldiers to open fire and kill two Palestinian youth in the West Bank over the weekend.

Major Avihai Mandelblit's issued his order to the IDF's criminal investigation division a day after the Judea and Samaria division of the army announced that it planned to probe the incident.

Military sources said the two Palestinians who were shot on Saturday in the village of Iraq Burin, near Nablus, were apparently killed by live Israel Defense Forces fire, contrary to the IDF's initial claim that only rubber bullets were used.

IDF doctors met with Nablus hospital doctors Sunday night to examine X-rays of one of the men killed in Iraq Burin, which the Palestinians said show that a live bullet had penetrated his head.

IDF sources said however it was not certain the bullet was a 5.56 mm., the kind used by the IDF, or a 7.62 mm., used by Palestinian security forces.

They also said it was not verified the X-ray was of the Palestinian who was killed in this incident or of someone else.

The officers and soldiers at the site said they had only fired rubber-coated bullets.

The Central Command admitted on Monday that the shooting was "a regrettable incident" and should not have ended in killing two Palestinians. Officers said it could be difficult to obtain the "full picture" of what had happened because the sergeant who shot the victims and his three soldiers are the only witnesses.

Military sources commended the PA's efforts to prevent a wider conflagration and praised the security coordination between the sides.