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Israeli Army Orders Investigation Into Killing Of Palestinian Teens In Gaza

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s military said on Tuesday it would launch a criminal investigation into two incidents in which its troops shot dead Palestinian teenagers taking part in protests along the Gaza border.

The inquiry into the deaths of Abed Nabi, 18, on March 30, and 15-year-old Othman Helles on July 13 was the first announced by the military into its use of lethal force in the border demonstrations that began five months ago.

There was no immediate comment by Palestinian officials in the occupied West Bank or in Gaza, where celebrations for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha have begun. But Nabi’s father, Bahjat, said the soldier who shot his son should stand trial.

“I ask for justice and to put the soldier who has wrongfully shot my son on trial. He was shot in the back. I ask for psychological and financial compensation for what we are going through,” Bahjat Nabi said.

A statement from the Israeli military said its initial inquiries into the two events raised “a suspicion that the shooting in these incidents was not in accordance with standard operating procedures”.

Video posted on social media after the March 30 incident showed a Palestinian, identified by protest organisers as Abed Nabi, dropping to the ground as he ran, holding a tyre. The organizers said he was shot with his back to Israeli forces. The Gaza Health Ministry said that in the July 13 shooting, Helles was hit in the chest.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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