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Israel postpones hearing into 2014 killing of Palestinian teen

April 11, 2016 11:49 A.M. (Updated: April 11, 2016 5:32 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Israeli military prosecution postponed a hearing into the killing of a 17-year-old Palestinian believed to have been shot dead by an Israeli soldier during a demonstration in 2014. The hearing was scheduled to take place on Monday.

Nadim Siyam Nuwara was shot with live ammunition in the chest and killed alongsidw Muhammad Audeh Abu al-Thahir, 15, in 2014 during a rally marking the 66th anniversary of the Nakba outside of the Ofer detention center near Ramallah.

The father of Nadim Nuwara told Ma’an on Monday that he received a phone call from the Israeli prosecution notifying him that the hearing had been postponed to Wednesday because the court was on holiday on Monday.

On Saturday, the family of Nadim Nuwara told Ma’an they called for lawyers, journalists, and supporters to appear at the court session in an effort to pressure Israeli authorities to hold the officer believed to be responsible for Nuwara’s death accountable.

“We want to give the Israeli occupation a message that the case is still alive and that our people do not forget the blood of their martyrs,” the family said, requesting that those concerned about the case stage a sit-in in front of the court house.

Israeli security forces initially denied responsibility for the teens' deaths on the grounds that live fire wasn’t used during the demonstration, despite eyewitnesses and video evidence of the incident.

An autopsy of Nuwara's body later showed the youth had been hit by Israeli forces, and a border police officer was charged in connection to the fatal shootings months after they took place.

The indictment against the officer said he had switched rubber-coated bullets with regular bullets on an M-16 while he was present at the protest, and shot Nuwara in the chest after he allegedly threw a stone, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Israeli media reports in March said that the military investigation into Nuwarah’s death had been shut down due to a lack of evidence -- reports that were dispelled by the slain teen’s father Siyam Nuwara as “false rumors.”

News of the hearing’s postponement comes after the Israeli army closed on Sunday an investigation into the killing of a Palestinian teenager last summer by a senior Israeli commander, in a decision Israeli rights group B’Tselem has termed “an integral part” of the Israeli army’s “whitewash mechanism” of its own crimes.

The Israeli court system has received international criticism for its longstanding policy of immunity for Israeli forces, while Palestinians hold widespread distrust for the system.

A joint investigation by Israeli rights group B’Tselem and Hamoked earlier this year reported that Israel’s court system routinely postpones or slows down investigations regarding violations against Palestinians, with the intent of pushing families or individuals to eventually drop their case.

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