Name of Accused Soldier Released

Ben Deri, 21, is the Border Patrol officer accused of shooting a Palestinian boy dead during Nakba riots in May.

Cynthia Blank,

Illustration: Israeli border police stand ove
Illustration: Israeli border police stand ove
Flash 90

The Jerusalem District Court allowed the publication of the name of the Border Patrol officer accused of killing a Palestinian boy involved in riots against the IDF in Beitunia last May. 

Ben Deri, 21, of Rishon Lezion, was indicted on November 23. He is alleged to have fired live ammunition, thereby killing Nadeem Siam Nawara, going against instructions he received to only shoot rubber bullets during the violent Palestinian riot against Israeli security forces. 

He has been discharged from Border Patrol service since May. 

Evidence based on a Palestinian Authority autopsy indicated, contrary to the soldier's version of events that he fired rubber bullets in accordance with IDF policy, the soldiers deliberately fired live ammunition into the center of the Palestinian boy's body, intending to cause severe harm, even the possibility of death. 

The indictment describes that on May 15, as part of preparations for "Nakba Day" - the Arabic word for catastrophe designating the creation of the Jewish state of Israel 66 years ago - the company was stationed near the village of Beitunia. 

At around 11:00 a.m. Deri, along with six other soldiers, and an army documentarist, were placed in a dominant viewing point of the central junction in Beitunia, with the goal of preventing protestors from approaching the checkpoint. 

The defendant and another fighter were chosen to fire rubber bullets to disperse protesters as needed. At one point the rioters, including a 17-year-old boy, Nawara, began to throw rocks at position of the security forces.

Around 1:45 p.m, when the deceased approached the area with his hands at his sides, Deri aimed his weapon toward the boy's torso and shot him with a live bullet. 

Nawara was rushed to the emergency room at the hospital in Ramallah where he was pronounced dead at 2:45 p.m. on the operating table.

"The defendant shot the deceased in the chest and he collapsed in place. The actions of the defendant unlawfully caused the death of the deceased," the indictment reads.  

Despite the indictment, many have argued that Ben Deri committed no wrongdoing, calling the arrest against him a "blood libel." 




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