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Israeli policeman charged with manslaughter of Palestinian teen

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A Jerusalem court on Sunday charged an Israeli border policeman with manslaughter in the May shooting to death of a young Palestinian during a West Bank demonstration.

“A charge of manslaughter has been filed against the defendant,” a court transcript said.

Nadeem Nuwarah, 17, was killed on May 15 during a day of clashes in Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah, between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters marking the anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” when 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes by Jewish militias in 1948.

The Israeli news site Ynet said it was previously suspected that the policeman would be charged with murder, but that the charge had been reduced to manslaughter.

Nuwarah’s father criticized the manslaughter charge, saying evidence showed that the killing was premeditated, the Ynet report said.

Footage recorded by US broadcaster CNN captured a group of five or six border police officers in the area, one of whom could be seen firing at the time when the youth was hit.

A post-mortem found he died after being hit in the chest by a live bullet, an Israeli human rights group said.

At the time, Israel said border police were quelling a violent demonstration by about 150 Palestinians, and denied live bullets were used. An investigation later showed that live bullets were in fact used, Israeli media reported last week.

The accused, named as Ben Deri, denied the charge against him.

He was arrested earlier this month by the justice ministry’s internal affairs department which looks into complaints of police misconduct.

Palestinian leaders and human rights groups accused Israel of Nuwarah’s “deliberate execution” at the time, after CCTV footage showed Nuwarah was shot unprovoked, during a lull in the clashes.

A second teenager, Mohammed Udeh, 16, was killed on the same day in the same place. He was also hit in the chest by a live bullet but his family refused to allow a post-mortem. SAPA

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