Investigation Opened into Killing of Palestinian During Riot

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinian youth clash with Israeli security forces during a protest in Chevron, November 27, 2020. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Israel’s Military Police have opened a criminal investigation into the death of a Palestinian teenager who was reportedly shot dead by IDF troops during a riot on Friday, The Times of Israel said.

According to Palestinian reports, Ali Abu Aliya, 13, was shot and killed during a violent protest in Kafr Malik in Yehuda and Shomron against the establishment of a new Jewish community in the area.

The incident occurred as Israeli soldiers responded with “riot dispersal means,” including the firing of rubber bullets, as they were confronted by dozens of Palestinians throwing rocks at them and trying to roll rocks and burning tires at Israeli vehicles.

“The claim that there a Palestinian was killed and others injured is known to the IDF, and in light of the incident, the Military Police’s Investigatory Unit has opened an investigation. Upon completion of it, the findings will be presented to the Military Advocate General for consideration,” the IDF said on Sunday.

The military said soldiers used .22-caliber Ruger rounds to disperse the rioters. Although considered non-lethal, when used incorrectly have been known to result in deaths.

In a separate case, Israeli authorities have cleared police of any wrongdoing in the case of a 9-year-old boy who lost an eye after apparently being shot by an Israeli officer earlier this year, the AP reported.

Malik Eissa was struck by what appeared to be a sponge-tipped munition last February and lost vision in his left eye, and his family says he hasn’t returned to school because of recurring medical treatments and the embarrassment of being disfigured and reliant on a prosthetic eye.

Residents said he had just gotten off a school bus in the Palestinian neighborhood of Issawiya in east Jerusalem when police opened fire. Police said at the time they had responded to riots in the tense neighborhood and used non-lethal weapons.

In a statement sent to The Associated Press, the Israeli Justice Ministry said its unit for internal police investigations concluded that while the incident was “sad,” there were insufficient grounds for prosecution after interviewing witnesses and reviewing video footage and other evidence.

It said police were conducting an arrest operation at the time and were attacked by a group of stone throwers. It also said that medical experts could not determine whether the boy had been struck by a bullet or a stone. It said, however, that the investigations unit ordered a review of operational conduct, including its use of sponge-tipped bullets in civilian areas.