Israeli soldiers shoot blindfolded Palestinian as he tried to flee
Israeli soldiers shot a blindfolded, handcuffed Palestinian teenager who had been arrested on suspicion of taking part in disturbances as he tried to flee.
The shooting happened after a funeral in the Palestinian village of Tuqu’, south of Bethlehem in the West Bank, last Thursday, according to witnesses and a member of the Tuqu’ municipality. Photos and video from the scene from residents of Tuqu’ who had been filming the funeral show 15-year-old Osama al-Badan, with his hands bound behind his back, trying to run away from at least four Israeli soldiers who are standing nearby.
Al-Badan was shot once in each leg with a pistol, his father, Ali, told CNN.
“He was detained by the soldiers for doing nothing,” said Ali al-Badan. “They accused him of throwing stones. I am sure he didn’t. He has nothing to hide and would have admit if he did throw a stone. But is that an excuse to shoot him?”
A statement from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the incident was under investigation.
Earlier in the day, a Palestinian schoolteacher from the village of Tuqu’ had been killed in a traffic accident, drawing a large crowd to her funeral. After the funeral, clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces on the road leading into Tuqu’.
The shooting followed “massive stone throwing” on IDF forces in the area, as well as at cars traveling along the road, “which endangered the lives of civilians and the forces,” according to the IDF.
“The forces responded with riot dispersal means and at the same time arrested one of the rioters who tried to flee after his arrest. The arrested was detained at a nearby point and after a short time tried to flee the forces. The forces began a pursuit, during which he was shot in his lower body,” the IDF said in the statement.
“There have been disturbances recently towards Israeli cars and people traveling on the road close to Arab Tuqu’,” the IDF said, referring to the Palestinian village, instead of the nearby Israeli settlement of Tekoa. These disturbances included stone-throwing and the burning of tires, the IDF said.
Osama al-Badan was detained at the scene after being shot, witnesses told CNN. An IDF soldier at the scene began administering medical aid, the IDF said.
Photos and videos from the scene show a small group of Palestinians rushing to help al-Badan as a soldier holds a tourniquet to stanch the bleeding from one of the gunshot wounds, while another soldier points his weapon at the crowd to keep the Palestinians at bay, yelling, “Whoever comes closer, a bullet in his forehead.”
A Palestinian man yells back, “I want to take him to treatment,” and the soldier responds: “I have my own treatment.” As the tension and the shouting increase, the soldier says: “Treatment is coming.”
In another video recorded by residents of Tuqu’ as al-Badan was being lifted and taken to receive medical treatment, a Palestinian man shouts “Let’s go! Let’s go!” A shoving match erupts between a small group of Palestinians around al-Badan and an Israeli soldier. In response, a soldier standing nearby fires a bullet into the air.
Moments later al-Badan is taken to a nearby clinic for medical treatment, where he remains in a stable condition, according to his father, who says the teenager is no longer under arrest.
The IDF has not responded to inquiries from CNN about Osama al-Badan’s legal status. Despite saying there was “massive stone-throwing” in the area, a spokesman for the IDF said no one else had been arrested.
Michael Schwartz contributed to this report.