Human RightsPalestine

No justice for blinded Palestinian kid: Israeli perpetrators cleared

Israel has cleared its police of any wrongdoing in the shooting of a Palestinian child, who lost an eye in an attack earlier this year.

The Israeli soldiers shot a nine-year-old boy, identified as Malik Eissa, in February, when he had just gotten off a school bus in the Palestinian neighborhood of Issawiya in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Israeli forces claimed, back then, that they had used non-lethal weapons in response to anti-Israeli protests.

The Israeli justice ministry said it had investigated the “sad” incident, but that there were insufficient grounds for prosecution after interviewing witnesses and reviewing video footage and other evidence.

The boy, who has lost vision in his left eye, has not returned to school as a result of serious physical and psychological problems, according to his family.

Malik finally agreed to return to school two weeks ago after receiving a glass eye, but stopped going after a couple of days because of an embarrassing incident, his father, Wael Issa, told the Associated Press on Sunday.

“The eye fell out in front of the students. He feels terrible,” he said. “Frankly speaking I don’t believe I will ever get justice in this system.”

He said his son suffers from constant headaches and is traumatized.

Wael Issa said his family had been the victim of injustice twice — first when the boy was shot and now with the investigation being closed.

“When my son was shot, the members of the investigative unit came to the hospital. They were about to cry. They told me, ‘Don’t worry, those responsible for shooting him will be held accountable,’” said Wael Issa. “But 10 months after investigating, they decided to close the file.”

Israeli human rights group, B’tselem said the case “exemplifies whitewashing at work.”

“Every individual case is isolated to a series of technical details, as though this was a singular incident, rather than an open fire policy,” it said.

It accused the Israeli forces of operating within “an oppressed civilian population to enforce an occupation and annexation,” leading to civilian casualties and impunity for those who harm them.

Over the weekend, Israeli forces killed a 13-year-old Palestinian boy in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The Israeli military said it had used “riot dispersal means,” including 22-caliber bullets, and said that military police had opened an investigation.

Israel occupied the Palestinian territories of West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967.

Ever since, Palestinians have been subjected to systematic violations of their rights at the hands of Israelis.

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