A video has surfaced which shows Israeli Defense Forces opening fire on a group of boys throwing rocks near a school in the Palestinian town of Beit Jala.
The LikeLeak video shows a group of 15-20 boys gathered near Route 356, a highway that links Bethlehem and Hebron. The boys begin throwing rocks at a group of at least 5 Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), prompting one IDF soldier to launch a teargas grenade in the direction of the boys. The IDF soldiers then begin to leave the area, with two military vehicles backing up and three soldiers casually walking away. The boys begin to cheer and continue to throw rocks in the soldier's direction.
The group of boys then notice two more IDF soldiers standing on the highway. The boys begin throwing rocks up a steep embankment in the direction of the two soldiers. At that point, one of the soldiers begins firing live ammunition at the boys. The other soldier quickly subdues the soldier who is firing.
The incident took place on November 19, 2012, however the video is just now surfacing.
According to B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights, a total of 11 soldiers were dispatched to the area after receiving reports that the boys were throwing rocks at passing cars on the highway. B'Tselem confirms that a teargas grenade was launched to disperse the group of boys before the IDF soldiers began to leave the area. The organization also confirms that one IDF soldier fired at the boys, striking one child in the stomach.
The boy who was shot has been identified as 17-year-old Muhammad al-Badan. Al-Badan was taken to the al-Ahli Hospital for treatment.
After being hospitalized for a month, al-Badan was transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Beit Jala. Due to injuries to bones in his pelvis, al-Baden is still unable to walk on his own and the internal injuries he sustained requires him to remain on a liquid diet. His father hopes his continued rehabilitation will allow al-Baden to return to a normal diet and walk without the use of crunches.
On January 1st of this year, al-Badan was interrogated by the Israel Police regarding his role in the rock throwing incident. Despite being a minor, he was not allowed to have his grandfather present with him during the interrogation according to B'Tselem.
On December 12, 2012, the Israeli army modified its live fire regulations. The new regulations state:
“A soldier operating in the field has the option to make the appropriate decision after evaluating the situation and the amount of danger he and his colleagues are facing, and that based on his personal evaluation, he can resort to the use of live ammunition”.
According to B'Tselem, military officials previously had a standing order not to use live ammunition against stone-throwers. This regulation was in place when the shooting incident occurred.
Israeli Interior Minister, Elie Yishai, demanded that the Ministerial Council allow the IDF to
"use maximum force against threats from Palestinians, including live ammunition."
B’Tselem states they have contacted the Military Advocate General Corps and demanded that a criminal investigation be launched into the circumstances of the use of live ammunition in this incident.