Police Closes Case on Shooting Death of 15-year-old Palestinian

Aysar Zaraka, 15, was allegedly shot by a Jewish settler near Ramallah in 2010, but no leads to the gunman were found.

The Judea and Samaria District Police have closed the investigation into the death of Aysar Zaraka, 15, a Palestinian allegedly shot by a Jew last year near Ramallah, after no leads to the gunman were found.

The incident, which occurred on May 13, 2010, began when three boys from Mazra al-Kabalia threw stones at Israeli cars traveling on Route 60. At about 8 P.M. they hit and damaged the hood of a car.

Aysar Zaraka

According to one of the boys, a man armed with a rifle got out of the car and started shooting at them, at which point they fled to their village. When two of them got there, they realized that Zaraka was not with them.

Zaraka's body was subsequently discovered. He had been hit in the back by a bullet that had traveled upwards, puncturing his lung before lodging in his neck.

Police at the same time received a report from an Israeli caller about gunfire on Route 60. A patrol car that reached the scene found the stones but did not find anything else.

A subsequent investigation, which involved an autopsy of Zaraka's body and the confiscation of several weapons from surrounding settlements for ballistics testing, turned up nothing. Since there is no cellular reception in the wadi where the shooting occurred, the gunman could not be traced through cellphone signals.

This week the B'Tselem human rights group, which is representing the family, queried police about progress in the case and was told the file had been closed. B'Tselem said it would request the file from police so it could look through it and decide whether to appeal the file's closure.

Several shootings of both Jews and Palestinians in the West Bank in recent years remain unsolved, including the 2009 murder of two policeman in the Jordan Valley.