JERUSALEM: The post-mortem of a Palestinian teenager killed in clashes with the Israeli army in the West Bank showed a live round caused his death, an NGO said yesterday.
Nadeem Nuwarah, 17, was killed on May 15 during a day of protests and clashes with Israeli forces in Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
His body was exhumed for a post-mortem examination on Wednesday, which was carried out by two Israeli forensic pathologists, one Palestinian, a Danish and an American.
“They (the experts) have a clear agreement on the cause of death,” said Sarit Michaeli of Israeli rights group B’Tselem, which coordinated the post-mortem with NGOs Defence for Children International, Al Haq and Physicians for Human Rights.
“They all agree that it was live ammunition,” she told said.
The conclusion Nuwarah was shot by a live bullet through his chest were “based on the entry and exit wounds in the body, and x-rays that traced (bullet) fragments in the body,” Michaeli said.
“They ruled out any other cause of death, rubber bullets or anything else.”
Israel’s army says it used “riot dispersal” means, a term which includes rubber bullets, and denied using live fire during the day of protests as Palestinians marked the “Nakba”, or catastrophe, of Israel’s establishment in 1948.
Palestinian leaders accused Israel of Nuwarah’s “deliberate execution” at the time, after CCTV footage appeared to show Nuwarah was shot unprovoked, during a lull in the violence.
Israel suspended a non-combat soldier spotted by CNN television cameras firing his weapon during the clashes, but said there was no proof his shot was responsible for killing Nuwarah.
The forensic experts were also “able to track the trajectory of the bullet (that hit Nuwarah) and assess the angle from which it was fired,” Michaeli said, but was unable to elaborate before the findings were published officially.
Nuwarah’s family, who said they found the bullet that killed him in the backpack he was wearing when he died, had handed the round over for investigation, Michaeli said.
Israel’s army did not immediately comment on the investigation.
Mohammed Udeh, 16, was shot dead in the same location around an hour lated but his family did not consent to a post-mortem, B’Tselem said.