Palestinian teenager was shot and killed by Israeli officer

Col Israel Shomer, an Israeli army officer, fired at Mohammed Kasbeh, a 17-year-old Palestinian after the teenager threw a stone at his vehicle in the West Bank.

The Israeli military said that Col Shomer felt his life was in danger at the time.

However, the video released by an Israeli human rights group B’Tselem appears to show that the teenager was running away after attacking the vehicle. Officers jump out and chased him.

B’Tselem said that he was shot in the back.

The Israeli military has not commented on the video, but it was reported that Col Shomer had been interviewed under caution by military officer investigating the shooting.

The incident happened on 3 July at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, the scene of constant clashes between Palestine and Israel.

A commander of the army’s Binyamin Brigade, Col Israel Shomer was hit by stones thrown by a youth group shattering its windshield.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that the commander got out from the car and ordered the youth group to stop throwing, and then firing a warning shot into the air. As the attack continued, he shot at the main perpetrator.

“We were running away,” Ahmed Taher, aged 17, who was throwing rocks beside Kasbeh said after his funeral.

A worker at a nearby gas station said that three Israeli officers – two wearing a helmet, and one without one – chased after the teenagers and fired.

He said that Kasbeh was about 10-15m (33-49ft) from the soldiers when he was shot. “After he fell on the ground the soldier without helmet went and checked him and kicked him,” he added.

Palestinian doctors also said the teenager was shot in the back and the side of the head.

B’Tselem released the video footage on Monday,  which was recorded by a security camera at the petrol station showing the scene.

The video shows Kasbeh running towards to the Israeli military vehicle when it passes by and throwing a stone. Then he runs away as the car brakes suddenly and at least two soldiers get out, holding weapons.

B’Tselem said in a statement that the footage showed it was unreasonable as self-defense.

“There is no doubt that the shattering of the vehicle’s window with a stone endangered the passengers. However, Kasbeh was shot in the back after he was already running away and expressing no ‘threat’ to the soldiers. Feeling his life was in danger is not enough to justify any action.”

The rights group also added that the video conflicts the IDF’s claim that Col Shomer had accomplished “suspect-arrest action”.

“Military open-fire regulations permit shooting at the legs of a suspect to help his arrest. They do not permit killing him by firing three shots at his upper body,” it added.

Thaer Kasbah, the dead teenager’s brother, said that it was clear from the footage that Col Shomer “wanted to kill him”.