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Inquiry into the shooting death of a toddler in Khan Yunis: the case of MA
documents: 0  |  Updates: 3 On October 2, 2003, MA, a 17-month-old toddler, climbed onto the roof of his home in the al-Amal neighborhood in the city of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. His father, 'AA, was hurrying after him when he heard a shot followed by a cry. When the father reached the roof he saw that his son had been hit and was critically wounded. He rushed his infant son to hospital, where he died two days later. The following month, HaMoked demanded the Military Advocate of the Southern Command open an inquiry into the killing. For more than a year, despite HaMoked's repeated demands, the Military Advocate's Office took no action. Therefore, in February 2005, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice. Only then did the Military Advocate's Office saw fit to launch a military police investigation.

Two and a half years later, in November 2007 - four years after MA’s death -the Military Advocate of the Southern Command informed HaMoked that the case had been closed in the absence of evidence pointing to any military shooting at the time the toddler was hit. After reexamining the investigation material, HaMoked filed an objection to the decision, claiming there was prima facie evidence of a shooting from an adjacent military post at the time in question. MA's father reported the shooting came from the west, from a military post some 300 meters opposite the roof of the house. Additionally, HaMoked asserted that at the time, warning shots were a routine practice in the area, relying, inter alia, on the operations report from the morning of the killing, which indicated that at that time, firing regulations in the area were "lax" – a fact also admitted by one of the witnesses. HaMoked further argued that the case file showed the investigation, which relied on just a single relevant military source, was hasty and negligent and that no substantial effort to gather evidence was made.

Nonetheless, the Military Advocate's Office did not see fit to alter its decision. In concurrence with the investigation process, HaMoked filed a civil claim against the state due to the shooting itself and the negligence of the soldiers involved. In early May 2010, proceedings were stayed with parties consent, given the difficulty to bring prosecution witnesses from Gaza into Israel. Once renewed, the proceedings will resume from the point at which they were stayed, and the state will not be permitted to argue that the limitation period expired.


Updates
14.3.2016
Thirteen years after a toddler was killed by an Israeli soldier’s gunfire in Gaza: the state finally allowed the father to enter Israel to testify in court about his son’s tragic death
4.5.2005
Following HaMoked's petition to the HCJ, the Military Police Investigations Unit (MPIU) opened an investigation into the death of a infant in Khan Yunis: the petition was filed since the Military Advocate General (MAG) refrained – for 15 months – from opening an MPIU investigation into the death of an infant who was killed when a bullet entered his head while he was on the roof of his house. Ha...
15.3.2005
Tort claim for the killing of a youth in Khan Yunis: HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual filed a compensatory claim against the state for the incident in which a youth was shot and killed in the alAmal neighborhood in Khan Yunis after trying to render aid to persons who had been wounded by IDF gunfire. No Military Police investigation was opened into the matter.
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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