Israeli soldiers fire illumination flares, at a direct trajectory, at stone-throwers along the Gaza border. A 15-year-old boy is killed. The IDF says it’s conducting an ‘inquiry.’
Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian teenager by shooting a military-grade illumination flare directly at him, shattering and setting his face on fire last month, according to investigations by B’Tselem, Defence of Children International — Palestine (DCI), and video footage seen by +972 Magazine.
The killing took place on September 9, when a group of roughly 100 Palestinian youths staged a demonstration near the border fence with Israel, east of al-Bureij Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. Some of the protesters threw stones toward the Israeli soldiers and attempted to cut the barbed wire near the fence. The soldiers initially responded with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets.
Video shot at the scene, which we are unable to publish here, shows that the soldiers do not appear to be in any sort of danger. The soldiers stood on the other side of the fence, some dodging the occasional stone while others sat inside armored vehicles that were entirely unaffected by the stones.
Quite unusually, however, at some point the soldiers also fired illumination flares, which were fired toward the protesters in an attempt to disperse the demonstration.
Illumination flares are used by some military units to to illuminate large areas during nighttime military operations, or in order to mark targets. They are shot out of a rifle-mounted launcher at a high trajectory, and a small parachute deploys as the flare itself illuminates the ground below for less than a minute.
Illumination flares are not intended for firing at a direct trajectory, or to for use as a weapon or crowd dispersal tactic. It is highly unusual to see them used against people.
In this case, however, the video clearly shows that the illumination flares were shot directly at the protesters, despite the fact that the minor clashes were taking place in the light of day. In one of the video clips, the flare can be seen burning for a short period, after which the Palestinian youths pick it up while the parachute is still attached.
It was exactly that type of flare that appears to have been fired directly at the face of 15-year-old Abdel-Rahman al-Dabbagh. In the video (a screenshot of which appears above), al-Dabbagh is seen lying on the ground with smoke and fire streaming from his face,...Read More