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Israeli police admitted killing wounded Palestinian but incident never probed

Policemen admit shooting and killing Basel Sidr, who they say had come at them with a knife, as he lay wounded near Damascus Gate in 2015
Sidr's father, Bassem, said that an autopsy of his son undertaken in Hebron found that he was hit by at least 27 bullets (IMEMC)

Despite border policemen's admissions that they continued shooting after Palestinian teen Basel Ragheb Sidr lay wounded on the floor, the country's justice ministry department that examines police misconduct has twice refused to investigate the 2015 killing, an Israeli newspaper has reported.

According to Haaretz, Sidr, a 19-year-old from Hebron, went to Jerusalem's Old City on 14 October 2015 in order to stab border policemen.

Wearing clothing that resembled a uniform, he headed for the historic Damascus Gate, and when he saw that the police had spotted him, he ran toward them, knife in hand.

The border policemen shot him once, hitting his leg. He fell to the ground, but the knife was still in his hand. The policemen fired again, hitting him in the head and killing him, the newspaper said on Sunday.

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Police in Jerusalem investigated the death, including by questioning the three policemen who shot Sidr.

One said he fired from seven metres after Sidr was already on the ground, Haaretz reported.

Another said he fired a second bullet because he saw Sidr move his head. The third said: "We confirmed the kill."

The policemen's testimony came to light by chance due to a complaint filed by the Yesh Din organisation a month later, on 15 November 2015, on behalf of a Palestinian passerby wounded in the leg by police fire during the incident, the newspaper said.

Despite the statements and a policeman's acknowledgment that he and his colleagues continued shooting after Sidr was wounded on the ground, Mahash said there was not even a suspicion that the shooting "exceeded the bounds of reasonability," because the policemen felt their lives and the lives of others around them were threatened.

'Nobody has stood trial'

Sidr's father, Bassem, said he was frustrated by the refusal to investigat his son's death and added that an autopsy of his son undertaken in Hebron found that he was hit by at least 27 bullets.

However, Haaretz said it had not seen any documentation confirming this claim.

Bassem said an investigation would not bring his son back to life but might prevent similar incidents in the future.

"Even if he really intended to commit an attack, after they shot him the first time he was no longer dangerous, so there was no reason to shoot him in this way and execute him," he said.

"We know that besides my son there have been other cases of confirming the kill, but nobody has stood trial."

Bassem also said his family "is still being persecuted, and every so often they come and search our house in Hebron. I and the rest of my family are barred from travelling."

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