“He had no gun, no Molotov” — he was just running away with a tire

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Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, a 19-year-old Palestinian, moments before he was killed during Friday’s protests in the Gaza Strip. (photo: Mahmoud Abu Salama / The Washington Post)

An unarmed civilian was shot in the back of the head by an Israeli sniper while running away from the border fence.

By Loveday Morris and Hazem Balousha | The Washington Post | Mar 31, 2018


“These are the predictable outcomes of a manifestly illegal command: Israeli soldiers shooting live ammunition at unarmed Palestinian protesters. What is predictable, too, is that no one — from the snipers on the ground to top officials whose policies have turned Gaza into a giant prison — is likely to be ever held accountable.”
— Amit Gilutz, spokesman for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem


The morning after burying 19-year-old Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, his family gathered in a tent set up to receive mourners, watching and re-watching a video of the moment they say Israeli soldiers shot him in the back of the head.

The video appears to show the teenager, dressed in black, running away from Gaza’s border fence with Israel carrying a tire. Just before reaching a crowd, he crumples under gunfire.

“He had no gun, no molotov, a tire. Does that harm the Israelis, a tire?” asked his brother Mohamed Abdul Nabi, 22. “He wasn’t going toward the Israeli side. He was running away.”

The teenager was one of at least 15 people killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces on Friday during what Palestinian factions billed as a peaceful “March of Return” to mark Land Day, the anniversary of the expropriation of Arab-owned land by the Israeli government in 1976. But it ended as the bloodiest day in the 140-square-mile territory since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Israeli military for guarding the country’s borders. “Israel will act firmly and decisively to protect its sovereignty and the security of its citizens,” he said in a statement Saturday.

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