Israeli soldiers shot dead a young disabled Palestinian from as far away as 80 meters, a rights group said, uploading a video that appears to debunk army claims that he was killed during violent clashes.
Renowned Israeli human rights group B’Tselem uploaded a new video showing the 22-year-old Mohammed Habali, being fatally shot by Israeli soldiers in early December in the West Bank city of Tulkarm. Previously, the IDF said they opened fire because troops were responding to violent clashes taking place in the area.
The military claimed that “a violent riot was instigated in which dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks” at the time when soldiers were present in Tulkarm. “Troops responded with riot control methods and later with live fire.”
But the B’Tselem video, which includes footage from different CCTV cameras, appears to show a different picture.
“It clearly shows that there were no clashes between residents and soldiers in the immediate vicinity of the spot where Habali was shot,” the group said.
‘Bullet hit between his eye & nose’: Killing of mentally ill Palestinian triggers investigation pic.twitter.com/RbNAwJUZue
— RT (@RT_com) December 10, 2018
Previously, a short, disturbing video of the shooting was aired by a local television station. Habali, said to be physically disabled and mentally impaired, can be seen with a long stick in his hands, apparently to help him walk. He is among a group of other people at the entrance to a restaurant. Seconds later, the crowd flees the place as Habali falls to the ground.
It all happened when an officer and two soldiers advanced towards a-Sabah Restaurant and stopped about 80 meters away, according to a B’Tselem investigation. Troops then fired “four or five shots” at the young men standing in front of the restaurant, and they attempted to flee. Habali, who was the last to leave when shots were fired, was hit in the head from behind.
“About a minute after the shooting, the three soldiers are seen rejoining the other soldiers in the area” and leaving without providing Habali with any medical assistance. Another man was also wounded in the leg.
Habali was later taken to a Tulkarm hospital where he was pronounced dead. It is not the first case when Israeli soldiers have been accused of shooting unarmed Palestinians.
In April, IDF soldiers shot dead a 15-year-old unarmed Palestinian teenager near the heavily fortified Israeli border with Gaza. He was hit with an explosive bullet in the head.