Palestinian boy, 13, loses eye after being hit by Israeli police bullet as he stood on his balcony

13-year-old Nur was hit while standing on the balcony of his home beside his mother and a cousin

Rachael Revesz@RachaelRevesz
Tuesday 11 July 2017 08:34
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Man holds new black sponge-tipped bullets used by Israeli police
Man holds new black sponge-tipped bullets used by Israeli police

A 13-year-old Palestinian boy has lost his eye after he was hit with a sponge-tipped bullet fired by Israeli police.

Nur Hamdan was standing on the balcony of his home in East Jerusalem when he was struck.

His family said he suffered eye socket fractures and other facial injuries.

Police said that troops were in the area after a fight broke out between neighbours, who pelted police with rocks as they arrived. The authorities used crowd-control weapons to drive them back.

The wounded teenager’s uncle, Ali Hamdan, told Haaretz that his nephew was not involved in the incident. He was just standing on the second floor balcony beside his mother and a cousin.

“The children were playing on the balcony until my wife called them to come inside because of the police,” he said.

“He was hit just as he stood up to go in.”

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the new black foam-tipped bullet, introduced three years ago for crowd control, is reportedly heavier and more lethal than the old blue one, and has caused dozens of serious injuries and one death.

Police regulations stipulate this kind of bullet should never be fired at children and if aimed at adults, should only target their legs.

Another victim: Khalil al-Kisuani, 15, lost his eye from a bullet last year

As of January 2016, 15 people have lost an eye in a similar shooting involving Israeli forces, including a six-year-old boy.

In 2014, teenager Mohammed Sunuqrut was killed by a sponge-tipped bullet, also in the neighbourhood of Isawiyah.

His family say he was shot in the head at close range by police, while police accused him of throwing rocks at authorities when he was shot in the leg, and he fell and hit his head.

A 12-year-old Palestinian from the same area, Ahmad Abu Hummus, was hit by one of these bullets and was in a coma for 45 days. He suffered serious brain injury and a piece of his skull was removed.

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