Israeli police officer charged over Nakba day killing

Israeli police officer charged over Nakba day killing
Six months after a Palestinian teenager was shot, an Israeli police officer is charged with his murder.
2 min read
12 November, 2014
Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967 [Getty]
An officer in the Israeli border police has been arrested over the death of a young Palestinian man during a Nakba day commemoration protest in the West Bank earlier this year.

The officer's commander was also arrested, suspected of covering up the shooting. He was later released to house arrest.

Nadeem Nuwarah was killed on May 15 during a day of clashes in Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah, between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters marking the Nakba, or "catastrophe", in 1948 when around 750,000 Palestinians left their homes in fear as the Israeli state was declared. 

Footage recorded CNN captured a group of border police officers in the area, one of whom could be seen shooting at the time the 17-year-old was hit. 

Live ammunition

At the time, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon denied the use of live ammunition and backed the soldiers, saying they appeared to have acted appropriately. 

However, an autopsy observed by US, Danish and Israeli pathologists showed that Nadeem was shot in the chest with a live round. 

Benny Katz, the lawyer representing the suspect, whose identity has not been revealed, said the officer denied the charges against him.

"This arrest is superfluous, my client denies firing live bullets," Benny Katz told Army Radio.

The officer was arrested after a probe by the justice ministry. 

Palestinian leaders accused Israeli troops of deliberately executing the boy, after CCTV footage appeared to show Nadeem posed no threat to the well-armed soldiers. 

A second teenager, Mohammed Udeh, 16, was killed approximately an hour and a half later during the same demonstration. He was also shot in the chest, but his family refused to allow a post-mortem examination.

The Israeli police is currently on the defensive over the recent fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man from the northern village of Kafr Kana, a Palestinian town inside Israel.