Rights group questions Israeli shooting narrative

Jan. 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM
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JERUSALEM, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch said there's no evidence to support Israeli claims a 15-year-old boy shot and killed by Israeli troops posed any threat.

Wajih al-Ramahi was shot fatally Dec. 9 in the Jalazone refugee camp by Israeli forces deployed near his school.

Joe Stork, deputy director of Middle East programs for Human Rights Watch, said last year's shooting was the second such incident reported in recent months.

"If the past is any guide, these boys' families can look forward to a prolonged, opaque, and fruitless process that does not hold perpetrators to account or deliver justice," he said in a statement Sunday.

The rights organization said reports the boy had joined Palestinians in throwing stones at Israeli forces were inconclusive. Witnesses its researchers spoke with said the soldiers were positioned more than 600 feet away from the youths, however, and weren't under any immediate threat.

Human Rights Watch cited a report from Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which states the Israeli soldiers didn't target the Palestinians directly. The Israeli military said the December incident was under investigation.

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