Sunday, November 01, 2020

Autopsy confirms Hebron assailant was killed by head shot

By Marta Feirra - April 04, 2016
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Hebron] [Extrajudicial Killing]

An autopsy conducted on Sunday revealed that Abed Fattah al-Sharif, the 21-year-old Palestinian shot dead last week after a stabbing attack in Hebron, died from the head shot caught on camera.

Even though Israeli medical sources did not confirm the findings, a Palestinian pathologist present at the autopsy said the direct cause of al-Sharif’s death was the bullet fired to his head at close range by an Israeli soldier.

Doctor Ryan al-Ali, director of pathology at the forensic institute at Najah University in Nablus, told Palestinian media that he agreed with the Israeli team that al-Sharif was wounded by several bullets in his arm, shoulder, lower body and chest, but none of the wounds were lethal.

"The heart and main arteries were complete and therefore it is clear that the bullet to the head caused death because his entire skull was smashed," al-Ali told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The Israeli Supreme Court denied appeals to allow a Palestinian doctor to partake in the autopsy itself. However, the court granted permission for al-Ali to attend the autopsy and takes notes.

A video released by the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem captured the moment the Israeli soldier shot al-Sharif in the head, after he had already been injured and left lying on the ground.

The autopsy was conducted to determine if al-Sharif was killed by the first gunshots that incapacitated him or the bullet fired at close range to his head. The results dispel the claims that al-Sharif was already dead when he was shot by the Israeli soldier.

The soldier caught on camera claimed he acted in self defense, and is currently facing charges of manslaughter.

“We are concerned this killing may not be a lone incident,” said Rupert Colville, UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights in a recent statement. “All incidents where security forces have caused death or injury should be fully investigated, and those responsible brought to account,” he added.

The wave of unrest that started last October killed nearly 30 Israelis and at least 200 Palestinians, predominantly in lone-wolf stabbing attacks carried out by young Palestinians against soldiers and Israeli civilians.

Most Palestinian assailants have been shot down by Israeli forces, which have been criticized by human rights groups as “unlawful executions” and “unjustified use of lethal force.”



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