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International medical committee begins investigation into killing of the 'Nakba children'

An international committee will arrive in the Occupied Palestinian Territories today in order to investigate the killing of the two young men, Nadim Nuwara, 17, and Muhammad Abu Thahr, 16, from Ramallah at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces.

A full autopsy is expected to take place on the body of Nuwara. Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq’s General Director, Shawan Jabarin told Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that two international doctors specialising in autopsies, one from Denmark and the other from the United States, will be joined by Palestinian doctors in order to perform the autopsy and investigate the murder of Nuwara. Al-Haq hopes to have an arms specialist present during the autopsy.

Investigating the murder of the “Nakba children”, a name given to the two Palestinian children killed on May 15 during the commemoration of Nakba Day by the Palestinians, will not be an easy task, and is due to end on June 11.

Palestinians are not used to autopsies being performed on the corpses of martyrs but in order for the investigation to be carried out by international committees, this must occur. Siam Nuwara, Nadim’s father, authorised his son’s exhumation and autopsy, telling Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that “the investigation will not bring my son back, but his exhumation will expose the Israeli government and prevent them from killing more children.”

Five days after he was killed, Nuwara’s family opened the backpack he was carrying when he was shot by the Ofer checkpoint near Ramallah and found the bullet he was killed with lodged between his books. However, Nadim’s father has refused to hand over the bullet, evidence that would incriminate his son’s killer, until official and international parties are present and guarantee his son’s rights are not lost.

As for Thahr’s family, they have, until this moment, refused to have an autopsy performed on their son’s body, but they will meet with the international medical committee to determine the circumstances of their son’s murder. Al-Haq, in cooperation with Defence for Children International, other international human rights organisations, and B’Tselem, have all confirmed the presence of other evidence, including the video footage aired by Defence for Children International, which came from a surveillance camera of a shop near the scene of the crime, as well as other video footage aired by CNN, both of which show that the two boys did not pose a threat to their killer.

The Nuwara family requested the investigation committee be tripartite, meaning that the investigating committee should include international, Palestinian, and Israeli doctors in order to prevent the Israeli government from challenging the credibility of the medical report prepared by these doctors.

Israel has been trying to cover its tracks promoting various stories, including a narrative that they did not fire live ammunition rather rubber bullets at the children, and another saying that the gunfire came from the Palestinian side.

Jabarin told Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that an Israeli doctor, specialising in urology, not forensics, accompanied by another man from Israeli intelligence, came to investigate the case, adding, “the occupation claims they investigated the crime, but the questions they asked were accusation, and their aim was to mix-up the information rather than to ascertain the correct information. They continued to ask the same questions over and over to the Palestinian doctor, surgeon and family; ‘How did you know it was live ammunition?’.”

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International OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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