Egypt officer ‘shot dead Israeli Bedouin teenager’

Egypt officer ‘shot dead Israeli Bedouin teenager’
Israeli border policemen stand guard outside at Damascus Gate, a main entrance to Jerusalem's Old City, late, in this May 2, 2016 photo. (AFP)
Updated 26 October 2016

Egypt officer ‘shot dead Israeli Bedouin teenager’

Egypt officer ‘shot dead Israeli Bedouin teenager’

JERUSALEM: An Israeli Bedouin teenager shot dead while working along the Egyptian border appears to have been killed by Egyptian forces in error, an Israeli source said Wednesday.
Nimr Abu Ammar from the southern town of Laqiya was shot on Tuesday as the 15-year-old took part in maintenance work on the border fence.
The Israeli Army had initially said that the “shooting does not appear to be connected to terror activities,” without providing further details.
An Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue told AFP the shooter was a member of the Egyptian security forces, who apparently mistook the youth for a militant.
According to the official, initial findings showed that the work was taking place in a “no-man’s land” where there are “quiet understandings with the Egyptians regarding the Israeli presence there.”
The official said the initial findings showed that an Egyptian officer at the site “mistakenly thought the boy was planting a mine” — while he in fact was making coffee for the crew of Israeli laborers and his father, who was working there.
An Israeli military spokeswoman would only confirm that the shooting was by Egyptian security forces.
Speaking on army radio on Wednesday, Abu Ammar’s father, Bassam, blamed the Israeli security forces for insufficiently protecting his son.
“They didn’t tell him ‘put on a helmet, put on a protective vest,’” he said of the Israeli Army. “I blame the Defense Ministry. They didn’t respond on the spot.”
He said Egyptian officers first told them to move, but before giving them a chance to do so opened fire.
Israeli media reported that soldiers did not return fire because they realized it was a mistake.
According to the ministry, Nimr Abu Ammar was working for a sub-contractor of the company in charge of border fence maintenance, and had gone to work there along with family members.
The shooting occurred in the Har Harif area midway along the 240-km border between Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Israel.