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HRW: Killing of Palestinian teens could amount to 'war crime'
Published Monday 09/06/2014 (updated) 11/06/2014 22:32
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A screenshot from video footage showing the killing of two
Palestinian teenagers during a Nakba Day protest.(MaanImages/DCI)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Human Rights Watch said Monday that the killing of two unarmed Palestinian teenagers by Israeli forces on May 15 could amount to war crimes.

"The willful killing of civilians by Israeli security forces as part of the occupation is a war crime," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director.

"Israel has a responsibility to prosecute the forces who targeted these teens, and also those responsible for assigning the use of live ammunition to police a demonstration."

Nadeem Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Abu Daher, 16, were shot dead during a Nakba Day protest outside Ofer military base.

HRW said that video footage, photographs, witness statements and medical records indicate that the two teenagers posed "no imminent threat to the forces at the time."

Israel's military said it is investigating the incident and claimed that its forces did not use live fire, while Israeli defense and foreign ministers suggested that Palestinians had falsified the video footage showing the killings.

HRW said that all available evidence indicates that that Israeli forces fired live ammunition, noting that it would be unlikely that rubber bullets would have caused the injuries that killed both teens, especially from a distance of 60 meters.

"The Israeli military's claim that its forces didn't shoot any live ammunition on May 15 does not stand up to scrutiny," Whitson said.

"To end the impunity that this latest incident exemplifies, Israel's allies should apply serious and sustained pressure on Israel, and Palestine should seek the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court."

In medical records obtained from the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, HRW said that Nawara suffered a gunshot injury to the chest and liver, massive bleeding and a tear in the inferior vena cava.

Abu Daher was announced dead on arrival from a gunshot injury that entered the right side of his back, wounding his heart.

Since September 2000, Israel's military has convicted six soldiers for unlawfully killing Palestinians with the most severe sentence imposed a mere seven-an-a-half months in jail.

Over the same period, Israeli military forces have killed more than 3,100 Palestinian civilians who were not taking part in hostilities, according to B'Tselem.
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1 ) John / UK
09/06/2014 18:42
The two Arabs of this story were not killed. This is Palywood! But the Arabs have murdered thousands of civilian Jews as racist hate crimes, truely crimes against humanity. When will the Arabs stop their lies, their false narratives and propaganda?

2 ) Joe / USA
09/06/2014 18:50
Israel is been accused for war crimes for years. They care less about civilian casualties as much as they care about their own identity as a country. They have a government that care more about building settlements and annexing territories and an army that love to use lethal force killing Palestinians, and their moderate citizens that try to figure out who's running the country, and a Palestinian government that has the problem to deal with such a government.

3 ) Tibi / Tubas
09/06/2014 21:04
HRW will say all kinds of Nonsense, and
Maan will print it too.

4 ) Bob / Canada
10/06/2014 00:38
All Palestinian s pose a threat after their record shows that they want to destroy Israel

5 ) Tibi / Tubas
10/06/2014 02:35
* Peace solves the Occupation problem, and the Bank problem, and the Prisoner problem, and every other problem, and * Palestinians should realize this, and restart the peace process, a] first as peace talks unconditionally, and also b] second as negotiations, including tough compromises on 1967 borders, an E. Jerusalem capital, and refugee return, or * Palestinians Need To Accept Responsibility for their own statelessness, and their own Occupation, Bank, and Prisoner problems !!!

6 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/06/2014 06:33
What? Deliberately shooting unarmed children who are doing nothing is a WAR CRIME? Blatant anti-semitism, that's what I say.

7 ) @ Colin-6 / USA too
10/06/2014 21:50
[1] The "teenagers" were probably NOT "Children".
[2] They were probably taking part in a riot, rather than "doing nothing", &
[3] No one cares "what I say."

8 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
11/06/2014 00:11
There are many words to describe the film of the alleged killings and HRW opinion: false, fake, counterfeit, sham, fraud, hoax, imitation, mock up, not genuine, phoney, ripoff, pallywood production, fictitious, and spurious.

9 ) Mex [fr.] / TX
11/06/2014 02:06
16&17 yr. old arab males are NOT CHILDREN. Their protest outside the IDF Ofer camp will NOT have been 'nonviolent'. HRW's Whitson's armchair analysis of what constitutes a 'war crime' is of the same calibre as the rest of her activism [i.e. Israel's attack on Sfrit, etc.]. Surely, a lawyer KNOWS that the ICC applies ONLY to nation-state signatories - not to nonstate acters.

10 ) ian / australia
11/06/2014 08:16
#1 "The two Arabs of this story were not killed. This is Palywood!" A plaintive little hasbaratic effort, John / UK, petering out into absurdity. Presumably you accept Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Abu Daher are dead, their bodies autopsied (with Israeli bullets extracted) and buried. If the film is faked and the "actors" alive, the two teenagers were killed elsewhere and earlier and their corpses SAVED for the hoax. Presumably in a freezer somewhere, to slow decomposition, while the elaborate

11 ) ian / australia
11/06/2014 08:17
(contd.) charade involving at least a dozen "extras" was organised, staged and shot (in single flawless takes on DATED security footage). Does any of that sound likely? Or that the killings (by sniper) of two minors went unnoticed or were hushed up in case two dead bodies were needed for an elaborate scam? And what was that about "lies...false narratives and propaganda"?
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