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Israel to reopen probe into killing of disabled Palestinian protester Ibrahim Abu Thuraya Open in fullscreen

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Israel to reopen probe into killing of disabled Palestinian protester Ibrahim Abu Thuraya

Ibrahim Abu Thuraya was peacefully demonstrating along Gaza's border [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 January, 2018

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A previous investigation by the Israeli military into the death of a disabled Palestinian protester Ibrahim Abu Thuraya cleared Israeli troops of wrongdoing.
The Israeli military has decided to reopen an investigation into the fatal shooting of a disabled Palestinian man in a wheelchair who was killed during a protest along the border with Israel.

Last month, the Israeli army cleared its troops of wrongdoing saying they found "no moral or professional failures" in the killing of 29-year-old Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, 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 then that no live fire was aimed at Abu Thuraya 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.

On Thursday the army said new information had emerged and will now be examined. Palestinian medical records in Gaza obtained by AP show he was killed by a bullet to his head.

The medical records, which include a hospital report and a death certificate, say Abu Thuraya was struck by a bullet above his left eye and died from bleeding in the brain. The same findings were detailed in a report by the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service reviewed by AP. The reports did not specify who fired the bullet or what calibre it was.

Abu Thuraya, 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.

Abu Thuraya has become a symbol of resistance in Gaza, with posters of him in his wheelchair raising the Palestinian flag and flashing a 'victory' sign plastered over the Strip.

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.

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

Palestinians have clashed with Israeli troops across the West Bank and along the Gaza border since Trump's announcement to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed since the decision on December 6.

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