Israeli border policeman arrested over shooting of Palestinian boy during West Bank protests

Killings sparked outcry after CCTV footage emerged which appeared to show two boys were shot despite posing no threat to Israeli forces

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The Independent Online

Israeli authorities have arrested a paramilitary border police officer over the fatal shooting of a Palestinian teenager at a protest outside Ramallah in May, a spokesman said today.

Nadim Nuwara, 17, and Muhammad Abu Thahr, 16, were both killed during a protest outside Israel's Ofer Prison near the Palestinian town of Baituniya in the occupied West Bank north of Jerusalem.

The boys were shot during a demonstration which was held to mark Nakba (Day of Catastrophe), when Palestinians annually commemorate the displacement before and following the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.

Border policeman covers his head as he arrives at a remand hearing

The killings sparked an outcry after CCTV footage emerged which appeared to show the two boys were shot despite posing no immediate threat to Israeli forces.

Footage released by the Swiss charity Defence for Children International-Palestine, showed each of the youths, about an hour apart according to the time stamp, walking at some distance from the protest and then falling to the ground, apparently shot.

Palestinians have claimed the CCTV video demonstrates that the teenagers were nowhere near the protest when youths began hurling rocks at police.

Israeli security forces had initially insisted that its forces fired only rubber bullets that day and that border policemen, who are also armed with assault rifles and carry out security duties in the West Bank, were present at the scene as well.

The claim that only rubber bullets were used to quell the protest was subsequently undermined by the results of an autopsy, conducted under the observation of US, Danish and Israeli pathologists, which showed Mr Nuwara was killed by live fire.


The arrest of a border policeman follows an Israeli investigation into claims that live ammunition was used.

"Hopefully God willing there will be justice in the case of my son," Siam Nuwara, the boy's father told Reuters news agency.

"I believe there is law in Israel, but the question is whether they will apply it for a Palestinian the same way they would for an Israeli."

In a further incident in Baituniya on Wednesday, Israeli troops shot and seriously wounded Ahmed Hassouneh, a 25-year-old Palestinian, during an arrest raid, medics said.

Israeli authorities had no immediate comment.

UPDATE: A video that previously appeared on this article was removed when it was drawn to our attention that the video was from 2011 and not 2014.