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Weeks after shooting, IDF to investigate killing of Gazan double-amputee

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Weeks after shooting, IDF to investigate killing of Gazan double-amputee

Ibraheem Abu Thuraya gestures during a protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, near the border with Israel in the east of Gaza City, December 15, 2017. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

The IDF’s Military Police Investigations Division is launching an investigation into the death a Palestinian paraplegic who was killed during a violent protest on the Gaza border in mid December, the army announced Thursday.

According to a statement, the army received new information from organizations in the Gaza Strip and was therefore handing the case over the Military Police to further examine the circumstances around the death of 29-year old Ibrahim Abu Thuraya.

The investigation into the death of wheelchair-bound Abu Thuraya on December 15 was opened after an earlier IDF probe failed to determine how he died while he protesting the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem.

UN condemns killing of disabled Palestinian protester in Gaza, December 19, 2017 (Reuters)

In late December, the Associated Press reported that it had received medical records detailed by the Palestinian Red Crescent showing that he had been struck by a bullet above his left eye and had died from bleeding in his brain. But the reports did not specify who fired the bullet or what caliber it was.

On the day he was killed, some 3,500 Palestinians demonstrated at nine different locations along the border fence, burning tires and throwing stones at IDF troops. Abu Thurayeh was seen in footage of the protest waving the Palestinian flag. According to a statement released by the IDF at the time, troops fired “selectively on the chief instigators of the extremely violent riots.” A statement released by the IDF after its initial investigation said it found that no live fire had been directed towards him during the dispersal of the violent riot on the border fence and that it was it was impossible to say what had killed him.

Abu Thurayeh lost both his legs in an Israeli airstrike in 2009 and was a regular at border protests. Palestinian officials insist that he was killed by Israeli sniper fire and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein decried his death, saying he was shot in the head.

Maj.-Gen Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, denied the allegations on his Facebook page and called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to release its findings on his death.

In response, Hamas posted on its Twitter page saying that the Red Cross “won’t be involved in the investigation.”

At least a dozen Palestinians have been killed demonstrating in the Gaza Strip and West Bank since mid-December.

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