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Israeli probe clears troops of wrongdoing over the killing of disabled Palestinian protester

Ibrahim Abu Thraya was peacefully demonstrating along Gaza's border [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 19 December, 2017

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An investigation by the Israeli military into the death of a disabled Palestinian protester Ibrahim Abu Thraya clears Israeli troops of wrongdoing.
Israel's military cleared its troops of wrongdoing on Monday over the fatal shooting of a disabled Palestinian man in a wheelchair it investigated.

The military found "no moral or professional failures" in the killing of 29-year-old Ibrahim Abu Thraya, who was demonstrating peacefully along Gaza's border following an announcement by President Donald Trump that the US would recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The military alleged that no live fire was aimed at Abu Thraya and it was impossible to determine the cause of death, despite reports by the Palestinian health ministry stating that the paraplegic man was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper.

Itedal Abu Thraya, Ibrahim's mother, questioned the military's self-investigation and said her son posed no threat.

"He was only holding a flag, not an explosive belt or a bomb," she said. "I do not trust them or their investigations."

Abu Thraya, who had previously worked as a fisherman, lost his legs in an Israeli airstrike during a 2008 war between Israel and Hamas

According to relatives, he was assisting in the evacuation of people after an earlier airstrike when he was struck. He had since used a wheelchair.

The UN’s human rights office dismissed the probe as "insufficient" and called for an independent and impartial investigation.

The information obtained by UN human rights staff strongly suggests the use of excessive force against Abu Thraya, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said.

Israeli military investigations have drawn criticism from rights groups as they rarely result in an indictment.

In over 700 cases in which Israeli soldiers have killed, injured or assaulted Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories, only three percent of investigations have led to any form of punishment, rights groups say.

The Israeli military insists the system works.

Jerusalem's status has been a central issue in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Trump's pivot drew widespread criticism from US allies in the Arab and Muslim world, as well as in Europe and beyond.

It sparked violent protests across the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. At least eight Palestinians have been killed in the violence since Trump's announcement.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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