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
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 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
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
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
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.