Autopsy proves slain Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in Ramallah
Published Sunday 22/06/2014 (updated) 23/06/2014 14:15
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- An autopsy conducted on Sunday morning has shown that 30-year-old Muhammad Ismail Atallah Tarifi, who was found dead on the roof of a commercial building in Ramallah earlier in the morning, was shot dead by Israeli troops.
According to the autopsy, the victim died of a bullet fired from an M16 assault rifle, which is used by Israeli forces.
The autopsy came after a controversy erupted regarding the circumstances of his death, which occurred amid an Israeli army raid in the heart of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Immediately after the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the area following a number of home raids and detentions, locals began throwing stones at the Palestinian police headquarters in anger for the police's withdrawal from the streets in order to allow Israeli forces to raid at will.
Some media outlets and social media activists claimed earlier on Sunday that Tarifi was shot dead by Palestinian security officers in the ensuing clashes, and his family and the Islamic Jihad movement with whom he was affiliated demanded an autopsy to determine who was responsible.
These rumors gained credence after a widely-circulated video appeared to show Palestinian security forces using live fire against demonstrators.
A Ma'an reporter on the scene in Ramallah found seven empty casings of M16 bullets on the roof of a building 40-50 meters away from the roof where Tarifi was found. Furthermore, Muna al-Dalou, a woman who lives in an apartment in the building, told Ma'an that about 20 Israeli soldiers had stormed the building and fired gunshots from the roof at Palestinian protestors during the raid.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said that the military was still reviewing the incident.
Undersecretary of the Palestinian ministry of prisoner affairs Ziad Abu Ein said he was following up closely with the autopsy. The tests, he affirmed, proved without a doubt that Tarifi was shot by Israeli snipers.
Abu Ein added that Tarif's body would be delivered to his family at the Ramallah Medical Complex.
The body will be taken to Jamal Abdul-Nasser mosque in Ramallah for a funeral prayer in the afternoon, and then a funeral procession will march to a cemetery in neighboring al-Bireh.
Tarif is the fifth Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces in the last week, as they mount the largest military deployment in the West Bank since the end of the Second Intifada in search of three missing Israeli teenagers.
Although Israeli authorities have claimed the group were kidnapped by Hamas from the Jewish-only settlement of Gush Etzion near Bethlehem, Hamas has denied the charges.
In the 10 days since, Israeli forces have arrested nearly 400 Palestinians, the majority associated with Hamas, and raided more than 1,000 locations across the West Bank, vowing to "crush" Hamas.