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IDF troops fired towards car without justification – video by B’Tselem

CM 04/08/2021

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The firing on a civilian car that led to the death of an 11-year-old boy last week was unjustified and criminal, Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem said after it released two videos showing IDF soldiers firing towards the car.
Last Wednesday 11-year-old Mohammed al-Alaama was in the car with his father and two siblings when he was shot in the chest by IDF troops who fired on the car that they thought was suspicious at the entrance to the village of Beit Umar near Hebron.

“The shooting towards the car, in the heart of a populated area, was done without any justification, without any of its passengers posing a danger – to the soldiers or to any other person,” B’Tselem said.
According to the IDF, troops saw several Palestinians digging near a military post close to the entrance of the town. When the troops investigated the site they found the body of a day-old baby in a plastic bag. Troops then saw a similar car approach and when they tried to stop the car they fired towards its wheels.
“The soldiers initiated the suspect arrest procedure, which included calls [in their direction] and shooting in the air. When the vehicle did not stop, one of the soldiers fired at the wheels of the vehicle in order to stop it,” read a statement released by the military.
The military said an investigation has been launched into the shooting, including by senior officers and military police. 
According to al-Alaama’s father, Muayyad who spoke to Israeli media, he had gone to a local store with his three children to buy groceries. He made a u-turn to stop at the shop when the troops opened fire on the vehicle with 13 bullets, hitting Mohammed.
In the two videos released by the organization, the car driven by the boy’s father is seen backing up after it approached the soldiers. Seconds later the three soldiers are seen running towards the car yelling. Then some 13 shots are heard. 
One of the bullets struck al-Alaama in the chest, causing him to fall on his sister.
Though the IDF said that troops fired only towards the wheels of the car, there were several bullet holes found in the back and side of the car. 
“There is nothing that can justify the opening fire on the car,” B’Tselem said of the explanation given by the army.
“The criminal killing of an 11-year-old boy shows, once again, how low the value of Palestinian life is in the eyes of the soldiers, their commanders, and the policymakers – who are responsible for a deadly fire-opening policy,” B’Tselem said. 
The IDF’s open-fire regulations allow troops to fire their weapons at cars only if they feel a concrete threat to their life, such as during vehicular ramming attacks.
“The announcement issued by the army regarding the opening of a Military Police investigation is nothing more than a means of silencing the audit, and such an investigation is only the first step in covering the case,” B’Tselem said.
During the funeral of the boy, 20-year-old Shawkat Khalil Awad was shot in the head and stomach by live bullets fired by troops during clashes.
According to the IDF, during the funeral for al-Alaama, hundreds of Palestinian protesters threw rocks towards IDF troops and border police officers who responded with riot dispersal means including stun grenades and rubber bullets. They also fired live bullets in the air.
He was the fourth Palestinian killed by the Israeli military and the third to be killed in Beit Umar in the past week.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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