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Israel says it "mistakenly" killed 15-year-old Palestinian boy

By Lili Martinez - June 22, 2016
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [youth] [Violence against children] [Israeli army] [freedom of movement] [civilian casualties ]

The Israeli army mistakenly shot and killed a 15-year-old bystander on Tuesday while responding to a stone-throwing and firebomb attack on a busy highway connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

The stone throwing attack, which occurred around 1 a.m. Tuesday on Route 443 near the village of Beit Sira, prompted live fire from the Israeli army. Bullets apparently struck a car carrying 15-year-old Mahmoud Rafat Badran and his cousins and relatives as it was returning from a nearby swimming pool. Badran was killed and others in the car were seriously wounded. The injured were treated at a hospital in Ramallah.

An initial statement from the Israeli army mistakenly identified Badran as one of the assailants. The statement was later revised to read that, “it appears that uninvolved bystanders were mistakenly hit during the pursuit. The IDF is investigating the circumstances.”

Badran’s father said in a statement to Haaretz that his son and relatives had been at a swimming pool in Beit Sira. “As they approached the passage, a car stood on the bridge, next to a man with a gun who opened fire on the vehicle,” the father explained. “Some of the passengers jumped out of the vehicle and some remained inside, and were hit, including my son who was very seriously wounded and died a short time later.”

The father went on to call the incident “indiscriminate gunfire with intent to kill.”

Saeb Erakat, general secretary of the PLO, characterized the shooting in a statement as a “cold-blooded assassination.”

The Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) issued a press release condemning the attack in the name of its new campaign to protect childhood in the West Bank. “The right of our children to move between different Palestinian areas without any restrictions, to travel between villages and cities safely should be emphasized,” the release reads. “This implies the removal of military roadblocks and checkpoints that pose a significant threat to them under the guise of 'security’.”


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