Israeli occupation forces killed an unarmed, fleeing Palestinian teenager when they shot him in the back from a distance of 80 metres, human rights NGO B’Tselem has reported.
The shocking incident on 14 December is captured on video published by the organisation.
On 14 December, 2018, Palestinian youth from al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, “threw stones at a military post located several hundred meters away, in the settlement of Beit El”.
Meanwhile, “another group of teens and young men was sitting several dozen meters from there, by the entrance to the camp near the Ramallah-Nablus Road (Road 466)”. Israeli soldiers “fired a tear-gas canister that landed near the second group”.
Two Israeli military vehicles then drove up and soldiers chased youth into the camp, “firing live rounds” as they went. Mahmoud Nakhleh, an 18- year-old camp resident, was shot in the back as he ran, from a distance of some 80 metres, B’Tselem reported. The moment was captured on video.
Shockingly, “after shooting him without any justification, the soldiers ignored his fatal injuries and offered him no medical assistance”.
“Instead”, B’Tselem added, the soldiers dragged Nakhleh “by the hands and feet, moving him from place to place, all the while using violence, including gunfire, blows and threats against the persons trying to save his life” – including an attack on an ambulance driver.
The NGO contrasted the video footage and eyewitness accounts with the claims issued at the time by the official military spokesperson, who stated that a “Palestinian approached a combatant with a suspicious object in his hand. The combatant responded with fire”.
B’Tselem denounced Israeli authorities for their “routine whitewashing protocol, applied in thousands of cases in the past”.
“Everyone involved – be it the soldiers on the ground, their commanding officers or those responsible for the official statement designed to sanction the incident – have shown utter disrespect for human life, for the humanity of the injured Palestinian and for basic moral tenets”.