Human Rights Groups: Autopsy Shows Palestinian Killed by Live Fire

On Thursday, two separate human rights organizations said that preliminary findings in an autopsy showed that a teenage Palestinian, who was killed during a lull in a confrontation in the West Bank between Israeli troops and stone throwers, was killed with live ammunition.

The military in Israel denied using live ammunition in the incident of May 15, insisting that its troops only used steel pellets covered in rubber, a standard way to maintain crowd control.

The troops can only use live ammunition during situations that are life-threatening said Israeli military officials.

Two teens who were 17 years of age were killed on May 15, during the intermittent confrontations between troops from Israel and several dozen stone throwers whom were Palestinian.

The two teens were killed close to one another, but over an hour separated their deaths. The deaths of the two drew attention worldwide in part due to the final moments of their lives being captured by nearby security cameras.

In both deaths, the footage shows the teen walking a couple of meters away from a wall where the rest of the stone throwers had taken cover.

The human rights organization B’Tselem based in Israel said when killed the teens were not posing any threat to the soldiers or raising suspicions.

One of the two bodies of the teens was exhumed on Wednesday so an autopsy could be performed.

The autopsy was carried out by the chief pathologist for the Palestinians and attended by two pathologists from Israel.

In addition, two colleagues from Denmark and the U.S. attended.

Those attending the autopsy said pathologists found wounds from the entry and exit of the bullets and four fragments that were made of lead which are signs of injuries sustained by live fire.

Generally, a rubber bullet will not penetrate a victim’s body, except through the openings that are soft such as the eyes and not at distances that are long.

Human rights activists said the troops from the Israeli military had been 70 meters away in one case and 200 in the other, from the teens throwing stones.

It was not announced as to when the official report on the autopsy would be released.

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