Last Friday, Israel Defense Forcessoldiers killed Oudeh Hamad, a resident of Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip. Hamad’s brother Radaad was injured. Statements made to the media indicated that the two brothers were attempting to damage the security fence marking the Israel-Gaza border. Radaad, however, told a Palestinian human rights organization that at the time they were collecting scrap metal and plastic from a junk yard.
Oudeh Hamad, 27, and Radaad Hamad, 22, are known among Beit Hanun residents as scrap collectors making their living off of discarded metal and plastic. Radaad Hamad told a field investigator from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights that on Friday, December 20 at midday the two brothers went to the junk yard east of their town, where the northern Gaza municipalities dispose their trash. They worked for roughly three and a half hours, and the area was very quiet.
According to Hamad, they were 50 meters away from the fence at around 3:30 P.M. when IDF soldiers opened fire on them without first firing any warning shots into the air.
An IDF spokesman responded: “On Friday afternoon a number of suspects approached the security barrier, in an area in which entrance is forbidden, and repeatedly damaged the barrier. The forces in the area made repeated and varied attempts to distance them, and they continued to sabotage the fence, and they carried out the arrest procedure of a suspect during which one of the suspects was injured. The military prosecutor is examining the incident and will accordingly decide whether to open a military police investigation.”
Battle of accounts following Palestinian’s killing in Gaza FridayThe brother of fatality Oudeh Hamad says that the two were collecting iron and plastic in a landfill next to the security fence. IDF: The military prosecutor is examining the circumstances of the incident
The soldier said he opened fire after he identified a suspicious figure only a few meters from the border fence, according to Lebanese security sources. He said the person was making suspicions movements and, being far away from his commanders, he decided on his own volition to open fire at Cohen.
The Lebanese soldier’s version of the events was made available to Israel by UNIFIL, during a meeting between the two sides at the UN organization’s headquarters in Ras Nakura, southern Lebanon, on Tuesday, Lebanese newspaper Al Nahar reported.