Slain Palestinian teen ‘posed no danger to Israeli soldiers’

Reuters/Ronen Zvulun
Evidence collected from Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian human-rights organization, indicates there was no threat to the life of the soldiers who fatally shot Palestinian youth, said Tahssin Elian, a human rights activist from Ramallah

Video footage has been released that is said to show the moments before the fatal shooting of a 17-year old Palestinian boy by IDF soldiers. The IDF claimed the soldier had been in danger when he opened fire.

READ MORE: ‘Counter to basic human morality’: Rights group slams IDF commander for killing Palestinian

RT:The two sides involved are sticking to opposite scenarios of what happened, referring to witnesses who also seem to be divided. So is there a way to clear it up?

Tahssin Elian: Of course, the video that everybody has seen shows clearly that the boy did not pose any danger to the life of the soldiers when they shot at him, this is one. All the information and eyewitnesses, testimonies that were collected from the field as Al-Haq [Independent Palestinian human-rights organization] shows and tells us that there was no threat to the life of the soldiers. We are sure of that.

RT:As we saw the video we only see up to a point, we don’t actually see the pursuit and the shooting, as it occurred outside the surveillance camera. So we can never really say for certain what happened.

TE: Yes, but if you listen to the Israeli narrative, and you know what they said. They said that the soldiers stepped out of their car, the military vehicle, they warned the boy verbally, and they shot in the air. And after their lives had been endangered they shot at him. But if you just calculate the time from the beginning of this story to the end of it, as you see it in the video, it doesn’t exceed 30 seconds. This is not [possible] to do all of this in 30 seconds; it is not possible to warn the boy twice by shooting in the air and then shoot at him directly in less than 30 seconds. This is not logical.

READ MORE: ‘Counter to basic human morality’: Rights group slams IDF commander for killing Palestinian

RT:What do you make of the initial response of the soldiers? What is the protocol in that situation? There must be lots of examples of soldiers having stones thrown at them, especially by kids. Did they respond in the correct manner and in the correct protocol?

TE: In some instances I can say yes, but in this specific instance the soldier could have avoided even shooting at the boy. They could have just kept driving and everything could have gone on well without even using the legal force.

RT:The bigger problem that there have been several cases in recent months, haven’t there? And most of them ended with Palestinian deaths. Why is nobody learning the tragic lesson of what we’ve seen to avoid deadly consequences?

TE: This question should be addressed to Israeli soldiers who should abide by at least the rules of engagement according to their law, at least, not only according to international humanitarian law, at least according to Israeli law.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.