JERUSALEM (JTA) – An autopsy performed on the exhumed body of a Palestinian teen shot by Israeli soldiers during a West Bank demonstration reportedly showed he was shot with live ammunition.
The autopsy was performed Wednesday at the Palestinian Institute of Forensic Medicine in the West Bank by the chief Palestinian pathologist, according to reports. Two Israeli pathologists were present, as were observing pathologists from the United States and Denmark.
Representatives of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq told reporters that the pathologists who performed the autopsy found entry and exit wounds indicating live fire. The groups were involved in the autopsy.
The Israeli military, which is investigating the death of the teen, Nadim Nawara, and a second teen during the May 15 incident in the town of Beitunia, has said its forces used rubber bullets and tear gas, not live fire.
A report issued earlier this week by Human Rights Watch said it was “highly unlikely” that rubber bullets would have caused the injuries that killed the teens and injured another. The report labeled the shooting deaths of the two Palestinians an Israeli “war crime.”
It is not known when the final autopsy report will be completed.
The teens were shot in approximately the same location during a demonstration on Nakba Day, which means catastrophe and marks the day that Israel became an independent state.
In a violent confrontation at the end of the rally, demonstrators threw rocks at the Israeli troops and the soldiers responded with rubber bullets, live ammunition and tear gas, according to the Human Rights Watch report.
Israeli officials have suggested that Palestinians or human rights organizations have doctored video evidence of the shootings or edited in a biased way. Palestinian journalists and security cameras filmed the shootings.