Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

2 Kislev 5761 - November 29, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Israel Blamed Wrongly for Palestinian Deaths
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Gazan boy killed by Palestinian fire; Palestinian died in car crash

Mohammed Aldura, the 12 year old whose death was made famous when it was captured by French television reporters, was most likely killed by a Palestinian policeman and not by IDF fire, according to the results of an IDF investigation that OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yomtov Samia presented to reporters in Tel Aviv on Monday.

Also, a report issued by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) supports the IDF's conclusion that a Palestinian killed last month died of injuries sustained when his car turned over. Palestinians claimed that Issam Judeh Mustafa Hamed, 40, had been murdered by settlers.

The Palestinian Authority does not cooperate in these investigations, but often an investigation can reach conclusions based on publicly available information or independent research.

The Army's investigation into the death of the young boy are not conclusive, but "the possibility that they were shot by Palestinians is higher than that they were shot by Israelis," Samia declared.

Samia said the conclusions were based on an in-depth analysis of all information the IDF could gather about the clash that took place at Netzarim junction on September 30. Samia criticized the Palestinian Authority and French television for not cooperating with the investigation. The PA rejected a request to conduct a joint investigation and France 2 refused to allow the IDF to examine the footage it had shot at the scene, he said. France 2 said they had only received informal requests for the footage and had never received an official request.

In presenting the conclusions, Samia emphasized that the IDF never had claimed responsibility for Aldura's death. The IDF had expressed regret for the death of a child during the firefight, and the media and PA interpreted this as an admission of responsibility, he said.

Samia said he appointed a committee of professionals to investigate the incident because he was interested in determining the truth. "The main reason we conducted such a serious investigation is to demonstrate to our soldiers that we highly value the life of children . . . that we are not an army that just kills children," he said.

Samia explained that the investigating team found that soldiers were only shooting from the Magen-3 building and there was a "low probability" that they were capable of hitting the Alduras.

An analysis of the bullet holes in the wall behind the two found that the bullets were shot from the area from which Palestinians were shooting, he said. In addition, film of the incident shows that the Alduras were hit by a volley of bullets. However, the IDF soldiers were firing only single shots and did not use automatic fire.

In an interview with reporters from his hospital bed in Jordan immediately after the incident, Jamal Aldura said that his son had been shot in the back. This would mean that he was shot by Palestinians who were on the eastern side of the wall, Samia said. He then showed a brief film clip of a man in jeans, whom he identified as a PA policeman, and who was shooting in the direction of where the Alduras had taken cover.

Samia also presented background information on the Aldura family. Several years ago, Jamal Aldura had been attacked several times because he was suspected of both drug trading and collaborating with Israel. He was wounded in the attacks and spent six months in a wheelchair. The family's home, located on the main street in El-Bureij, was destroyed about a decade ago as part of an operation that followed the lynching of soldier Amnon Pomerantz.

Issam Judeh Mustafa Hamed's wife and other relatives found his body on October 9 about 400 meters from his home in Umm Safah lying next to his overturned car.

Palestinian Authority officials said he had been beaten and killed by settlers. In an official PA Web site he is listed as one of the martyrs.


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