Israeli army to reopen probe into Gaza paraplegic's death

AP News
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Posted: Jan 04, 2018 3:33 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military announced on Thursday it is reopening an investigation into the death of a paraplegic Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip who died during a violent protest along the border with Israel.

The military said it will examine the circumstances of Ibrahim Abu Thraya's death last month after new information emerged. Palestinian medical records in Gaza obtained by The Associated Press show he was killed by a bullet that struck him in the head.

The military closed its initial probe after a day, saying live fire was employed against the main instigators of the protest but was not directed at Abu Thraya, and that it was impossible to determine the cause of his death.

The case has become a rallying cry among Palestinians since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The 29-year-old Abu Thraya, who lost his legs in a separate incident several years ago, was killed on Dec. 15 in clashes that broke out along the Israeli border. Palestinians say he was shot deliberately by an Israeli sniper — a claim the military denies.

The medical records, which include a hospital report and a death certificate, say Abu Thraya 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 the AP. The reports did not specify who fired the bullet or what caliber it was.

Posters of Abu Thraya in a wheelchair, raising the Palestinian flag and flashing a "victory" sign, have become ubiquitous in Gaza. He has emerged as a symbol of resistance to Trump's Jerusalem move, which the Palestinians largely see as siding with Israel.