(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
Today, October 2, 2005, the Head of the Central Command, Maj. Gen. Yair Neve conducted an inquiry into the incident in which a 13-year-old Palestinian youth was killed during an IDF activity in the Nablus refugee camp of Askar on September 30. Head of the Judea and Samaria Devision, Brig. Gen. Yair Golan, head of the Samaria Regional Brigade, Col. Yuval Bazak, head of the Paratroopers Division, Col. Yossi Bachar and the relevant battalion and company commanders also participated in the inquiry.
The inquiry revealed that during a routine patrol in the refugee camp of Askar, the IDF force encountered a number of violent riots in which Palestinians hurled stones, bottles, and paint at the soldiers. In one of the riots, a soldier identified one of the rioting Palestinians as being armed and proceeded to open fire at the gunman. The Palestinian was injured and later died of his wounds.
After reviewing the conclusions of the inquiry, the Head of the Central Command recommended the opening of a military police investigation into the incident. The commander of the force operating in the area was suspended following the orders of the Head of the Command, who conveyed his criticism on the manner in which the force was prepared for the mission.
In the inquiry, the Head of the Central Command stated the following: "This is a grave incident in which an innocent 13 year old youth was killed. This does not comply with the morals and standards that the IDF inculcates to its soldiers."
The Military Advocate General, Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit accepted Maj. Gen. Neve’s recommendation and ordered the opening of a military police investigation.
The IDF expresses its sorrow for the incident and for any incident in which innocent civilians are harmed. These incidents must be and are investigated thoroughly to prevent similar incidents from occurring.