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Israeli forces killed 10-year-old Palestinian, blamed ‘family dispute’

August 5, 2016 at 11:47 am

Israeli forces shot and killed a 10-year-old Palestinian boy last month, despite initially denying any involvement with the death, according to a new statement by Israeli NGO B’Tselem.

On July 19, Border Police officers operating in al-Ram responded to stone-throwing by Palestinian youths with tear gas and black sponge rounds. One of the rounds hit Muhyi a-Din a-Tabakhi in the chest, and he later died of his wounds in hospital.

According to an eyewitness, who himself was shot in the hand with a black sponge round when he went to aid the child, a-Tabakhi was shot from a distance of approximately 30 metres.

At the time, an Israeli newspaper reported that the Israeli military denied responsibility, and “speculated that the boy’s death was a result of a local dispute between rival families.”

B’Tselem noted that there have been 32 documented instances in recent years of Israeli police officers firing sponge rounds “unlawfully”, injuring Palestinians and an Israeli journalist in Occupied East Jerusalem. One victim, another 10-year-old boy, lost an eye.

On August 31, 2014, an Israeli police officer in East Jerusalem fired a black sponge round at 15-year-old Palestinian Muhammad Sunuqrut, who died of his wounds on 4 September.