Although Israeli authorities initially asserted that no live fire was used by soldiers during the May 15, 2014 protests, one border policeman, whose name has not been released, has since been arrested by Israeli police and faces manslaughter charges. This arrest follows Defense for Children International-Palestine’s release of video footage from security cameras which captured the fatal shootings of Nawara and 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Daher, as well as an autopsy’s ruling that a live bullet was the cause of Nawara’s death.
DCI-Palestine commissioned Forensic Architecture, a research agency that provides spatial and media analysis, to investigate the video footage that captured the fatal shootings of Nawara and Abu Daher. A team of architects, video, and audio specialists analyzed the CCTV footage from the four security cameras along with CNN released footage from the same incident to identify Nawara’s shooter, “Soldier A.”
“Using spatial and video analysis we have identified the border policeman that shot and killed the unarmed Nadeem Nawara,” said Eyal Weizman, principal investigator at Forensic Architecture. “Using sound analysis we found that the border policeman fired live ammunition through a rubber bullet extension installed on his gun, perhaps in an attempt to hide his action.”
Despite the Israeli military’s own regulations that live ammunition may only be used “under circumstances of real mortal danger,” DCI-Palestine has documented 10 child fatalities in the West Bank caused by live ammunition since the beginning of 2014. An Amnesty International report found that 41 Palestinians had been killed by live ammunition in the West Bank between 2011 and 2013 alone. The same report cited findings that between September 2000 and June 2013, only 16 investigations ended in indictment of Israeli soldiers.
"While we welcome the arrest of an unnamed Israeli border policeman alleged to have fatally shot Nadeem Nawara, tragically this killing is not exceptional,” said Brad Parker, international advocacy officer at DCI-Palestine. “Past Israeli investigations into similar incidents consistently fail to be serious, impartial or result in indictments. In this case, though there is CCTV footage and news coverage of the shooting, systemic impunity is likely to be an obstacle to justice and accountability."
Forensic Architecture is funded by the European Research Council and hosted by the Center for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. The project consists of multidisciplinary spatial practitioners – architects, artists, and filmmakers – who undertake architectural research within the framework of international humanitarian law and human rights. Their investigations have provided evidence for international prosecution teams, political organizations, NGOs, and the United Nations.