Israeli soldier marked as shooter of Palestinian bystander
Palestinian protesters are stopped by Israeli soldiers during a protest against settlement expansion on Palestinian land. [vosizneias]
A report released by Israeli human rights group B'tselem on Monday casts "grave suspicion" that a Palestinian killed in Qabatiya on Oct. 31 was shot dead with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces, despite their denials.
Based on interviews conducted with witnesses as well as security camera footage, the report suggests that Ahmad Tazazah was shot in the chest while watching Israeli forces attack protestors near his work place in the northern West Bank city.
Israeli forces had previously asserted that Tazazah was killed in intra-Palestinian violence prior to the clashes.
The report said that "eyewitness accounts recorded, the medical records of the Jenin government hospital and of the Red Crescent, along with the video footage of security cameras on site, all indicate Israeli military involvement in the shooting."
"The soldiers were not in any real danger during the incident. This gives rise to a grave suspicion that there was no justification for the use of live ammunition, let alone of aiming directly at Tazazah's chest," the report continued.
Around 5:15 a.m. an Israeli patrol passed in front of the vegetable market in which Tazazah worked, according to the report.
Local youths began throwing stones at the patrol as it passed, and in response the Israeli forces stationed themselves in front of the market, from where they launched tear gas grenades and shot rubber bullets and live ammunition at the youths protesting their presence.
A few minutes after the clashes began, Tazazah walked to the entrance of the shop to see what was happening. He peeked around the fence to get a better look.
"According to the eyewitness accounts, Tazazah was immediately hit by a bullet to the chest," the report said.
Video footage from outside the shop shows the moment when Tazazah was shot, while footage from inside the shop shows Tazazah stumbling back into the shop before falling onto the ground.
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