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update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

IDF officer censured over mistaken shooting of Palestinian boy

An investigation revealed the officer fired in the air against orders.

Caravans in the Israel community of Neve Tzuf (Halamish). Jan. 2, 2011. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Caravans in the Israel community of Neve Tzuf (Halamish). Jan. 2, 2011. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

An IDF officer has been reprimanded over an incident at the beginning of the month in which a Palestinian toddler died after being accidentally shot by Israeli soldiers.

Following the findings of the investigation that were published on Wednesday, Kfir Brigade commander Col. Sharon Altit decided to censure the officer for firing in the air against orders.

According to the probe, on June 1 two Palestinian terrorists started firing at the Israeli community of Neve Tzuf (aka Halamish) in the Binyamin region of Samaria and at an adjacent military post outside the Palestinian village of Nabi Salih.

The firing in the air led to a soldier mistakenly shooting at two people entering a vehicle, as the soldier thought they were the terrorists who fired at Neve Tzuf. This resulted in the fatal wounding of two-year-old Mohammed Tamimi. His father, Haitham Tamimi, was seriously wounded.

“The sequence of events and the hearing of the officer’s gunfire during the searches of the village caused the soldier to believe that it was the gunfire of the fleeing terrorists,” the IDF said.

The boy received a head wound and was evacuated by an IDF helicopter to Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, while the father was wounded in his shoulder and transported by Palestinian medics to a hospital in Ramallah. The boy died in the hospital several days later.

“The investigation revealed gaps in the command and control of the commanders in the incident, as well as in the reports and dialogue between the forces in the field, which led to wrong decision-making,” the IDF report states.

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