Video Footage Reveals Palestinian Teen Who Posed “Immediate Danger” to IDF Soldier Was Fleeing When Shot and Killed

New video footage has emerged of the moments before an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldier shot and killed 17-year old Mohammed al-Kasbah on July 3, 2015 in the West Bank village of al-Ram near the Qalandia checkpoint. The recording was captured by a security camera posted at a gas station and contradicts Col. Yisrael Shomer’s account where he said he fired at the Palestinian teen because his life was in imminent danger.

In the footage an Israeli army vehicle stops on a busy street near the gas station. Palestinian youth are seen approaching and stone throwing. Two soldiers then exit the Jeep and pursue the youth on foot as they flee out of frame. A third solider also stepped out of the vehicle, but remained by the side of the car. Thirty seconds later, the soldiers return, pile into the car, and speed off.

During the brief moment when the soldiers are off-camera Shomer shot al-Kasbah three times in the chest, head, and back.  Al-Kasbah was then taken to a public hospital in Ramallah. His heart had already stopped beating. Hospital staff told Mondoweiss he was then resuscitated, but died 15 minutes later around 7am due to blood loss from the injuries.

The video was released by the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem that also conducted an investigation. “According to several eyewitnesses, Col. Shomer shot Ali-Kosba [Kasbah] from a distance of some ten meters and then went up to him and moved him with his leg. Then, instead of obtaining medical aid for the injured youth, the soldiers drove off,” said B’tselem in a statement today.

Al-Kasbah’s two older brothers were also killed by the Israeli army when they were teenagers.

Following the shooting Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Num said he “fully backed the brigade commander and the way he handled the incident, in which the force was faced with real mortal threat.”

The IDF spokesperson’s office told Mondoweiss the officer shot al-Kasbah because he posed “immediate danger” to the soldiers. They added that a verbal warning was given in Arabic first, to stop throwing stones. Next a warning shot was fired in the air. Then shots were aimed at al-Kasbah. While the B’tselem video does dispute if cautions were given before the officer opened fire, it does counter the claim of threat to life because al-Kasbah and the other Palestinian youth were running away from the Israeli forces.

The Israeli army opened an investigation Shomer’s conduct on the day the shooting occurred.

Articles by: Allison Deger

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