An investigation by the Israeli army has found “no evidence” that it killed disabled Palestinian Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, who was shot dead during a protest in the Gaza Strip in December 2017.
The Israeli army’s criminal investigation division on Friday closed its probe into the killing of 29-year-old Abu Thuraya, claiming he was killed in a “violent riot” in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army spokesman said the division had “questioned soldiers and commanders who had witnessed the incident and also examined video footage of the incident, but found no evidence that Abu Thuraya was killed by direct Israeli army fire,” Haaretz reported.
— Israel Collapse (@israelCollapse) May 20, 2019
The closing of the probe will come as little surprise given the army’s repeated denial of wrongdoing in relation to Abu Tharayya’s death.
Just days after Abu Thuraya was killed on December 15, the army announced that it bore “no responsibility”, saying in a statement that “the initial investigation indicates that no moral or professional failures were identified”.
It added that “no live fire was aimed at [Abu Thurayya]” and it was “impossible to determine” exactly “what caused his death”.
On 15 December, 2017, in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian demonstrator Ibrahim Abu Thuraya was killed when an Israeli soldier shot him in the head.
18 months on, the Israeli army has concluded its "investigation" – and guess what? No action will be taken.https://t.co/xBiA9RqHGJ
— Ben White (@benabyad) May 17, 2019
Human rights organizations and Palestinian officials, however, contradicted the Israeli version of events, saying Abu Thuraya was shot by an Israeli sniper.
According to medical records obtained by the Associated Press (AP) in January 2018, the 29-year-old “died of bleeding in his brain after a bullet struck his head”.
The AP’s account was consistent with that of Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq, which wrote shortly after Abu Thurayya’s killing that “he was shot in the forehead in what appears to have been a deliberate act”.
Both Ibrahim Abu Thurayya and Fadi Abu Salmi were sitting in their wheelchairs when they were shot by Israeli snipers and killed during Gaza protests https://t.co/VPmLejwDHO
— Electronic Intifada (@intifada) May 18, 2019
“Under international humanitarian and human rights law, [Abu Thurayya] was entitled to special protection not only as a civilian under the control of the occupying power, but also as a person with disability who moreover lost his legs as a consequence of a prior assault by Israel on the Gaza Strip.”
Abu Thuraya was an icon in Gaza, regularly participating in protests despite being wheelchair-bound since he lost both legs in an Israeli assault on the Strip during the 2008 war. On December 15, he had joined thousands of Gazans to protest against US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the Holy City as Israel’s capital.
— Johann (@Johann91045712) May 16, 2019
In the months that followed, hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators were killed by Israeli live fire in what has since become known as the Great March of Return.
Between 30 March 2018 and 14 May 2019, 305 Palestinians, including 59 children, were killed by Israeli forces, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. A further 29,000 were injured and scores left with life-changing injuries, UN OCHA reported.
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)