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The firing Incident at Betunia

A DCI-Palestine spokesperson said the videos clearly show two kids being hit directly with
something other than a rubber bullet, a narrative repeated by pro-Palestinian activists, and many
in the mainstream media.
Naturally, the Guardians Peter Beaumont in two reports hes filed since the incident seems
to have no doubt whatsoever that Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at the two Palestinians,
killing them both, and has indeed all but mocked Israeli denials.
Both reports by Beaumont (Video footage indicates killed Palestinian youths posed no threat,
May 20, and Footage of Palestinian boys being shot is genuine, says Israeli rights group, May
20) primarily focus on the narrow question raised by some (including the IDF and some critical
commentators) regarding whether the original CCT footage was manipulated to distort what
really happened in Betunia.
However, he significantly downplays what has emerged as the central element of the story: the
dearth of any evidence whatsoever indicating that Israeli soldiers used live fire (real
bullets) as opposed to rubber bullets, as the latter could all but certainly could not have
killed Palestinians in a manner described by Palestinian sources.
Beaumonts May 20th report does note that a preliminary investigation determined that live fire
was not used by security forces, but argues that the composite picture presented by
the evidence points to the conclusion that the two teenagers were indeed shot with live fire.
His May 22nd report is even more tendentious, leading off by citing a statement by Btselem
contradicting Israeli army claims that the footage is likely to have been forged, and mocking
the Israeli response.
Additionally, though he cites the new CNN video purporting to corroborate Palestinian accounts,
he simply ignores two important take-aways from the clip: that, based on a careful review of the
video, the Israelis were certainly firing non-lethal rubber bullets at the Palestinians, and that
the bullet produced by the father of one of the victims did not at all look like it could have been
the bullet which passed through his sons body.
Before viewing the CNN video, here are the two relevant stills:
1. Was the bullet recovered?
First, at 3:22 of the clip, heres the bullet produced by the victims father which he claimed killed
his son:

However, as Vic Rosenthal noted after consulting a firearms expert:
The bullet that the father of the victim said had been removed from the backpack was a 5.56 mm
bullet such as is used by the IDF. But it was only slightly deformed. If it had passed through a
persons chest and then was stopped by books in a backpack, it would have been completely
crushed. That bullet looks like it was fired into sand, the expert said.
Additionally, as CAMERAs Dexter Van Zile noted:
Appearing [yesterday] on Israels Channel Two, [Israeli weapons expert] Yosef
Yekutiel stated that if the bullet actually went through the victims body the way Palestinian
doctors say it did, it would look entirely differently from the one displayed by the boys father.
2. Did Israelis use live-fire or non-lethal rubber bullets on rioters?
Heres a still (at 1:53 of the video) of the Israelis who were allegedly firing at one of the
Palestinians who was killed:
Firearms experts cited by Vic Rosenthal, experts consulted by Israeli Channel
2 and others have noted that the weapon used by soldier in the clip clearly appears to have the
rubber bullet extension by virtue of the thickening in the barrel (again suggesting that they
couldnt have used live fire). Additionally, the manner in which the victims fell, the absence of
blood at the scene, and the lack of entry or exit wounds, experts have noted, are all inconsistent
with being shot with live ammunition. One big question remains that those accepting the Guardian/
MSM narrative of the shooting must answer:
How can they assert that live fire was used by Israeli soldiers when NO evidence has emerged to
buttress this claim, and when all the evidence to date suggests that only rubber bullets were used
non-lethal fire which couldnt have caused the damage claimed?
Further, if no live fire was used by Israeli forces, the narrative advanced by Palestinians and their
media supporters is almost fatally undermined.
Whilst its too soon to say if this is an instance of lethal journalism in the spirit of Al Durah,
the failure of journalists like Beaumont to ask important questions about the shooting suggests
that, once again, the bulk of the work in critically examining Palestinian claims will fall on
media watchdog groups, citizen journalists and analysts not compromised by the pack mentality
and the immediate presumption of Israeli guilt.
MAY 23, 2014 @ 5:38 AM
15 Votes
When was the last time someone,having been SHOT THROUGH THE HEART, falls forward
with arms outstretched to break his fall and pushes himself to the left? even if he was to survive
the initial impact the first reaction would be to clutch the chest. It just does not add up. Lucky
also, that there were lots of people with video cameras to run to him when he fell. and finally, the
passer-by just after the body was taken away walks right past the scene of the alleged shooting
without a care in the world. If it was me next to a spot where a sniper was active then I would
run the hell out of the way.
Simon B
MAY 23, 2014 @ 7:35 AM

10 Votes
Two points firstly, it appears to me (correct me if Im wrong) that the bodies are not in Israels
hands, suggesting that they have no control over whether there can be a proper investigation.
Furthermore, given that the father of one of the dead men has apparently got hold of the bullet
which supposedly killed his son, any proper forensic investigation has already been
Secondly, and more importantly, in what alternative dimension would an Israeli investigation be
considered reliable by the MSM unless it totally condemns the soldiers involved? If the soldiers
were acquitted it would be rejected outright by the Guardian etc as being a whitewash. In fact,
even if the PA etc were to declare themselves that the Israelis hadnt killed them, that still would
not be enough to convince most of the Guardian lot (e.g. the blockade is still regarded as
illegal, despite the fact that the only body with the power to make that decision, the UN, has
said it isnt).
Israel should just reject this and move on.
MAY 23, 2014 @ 2:06 PM

2 Votes
There were not two teenaged boys shot. Mohammed abu Dhaher was 20 years old.
There is no indication anyone responded to LIVE BULLETS by avoiding that spot or taking
cover in the gas station. Why?
The body is carried right away INTO the direction that fire came from; why arent they worried
about a second deadly shot? Which never comes.
Nahim Nawara has one of the strangest falls (in the first video). He stops on one foot and falls
with straight legs catching himself with both arms extended. It looks planned. I say that because
the Palestinians have admitted to and been caught faking the deaths of children to blame on the