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Probe faults poor placement, not open-fire rules in soldier’s death in Gaza riot

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An Israel Defense Forces probe blamed the killing of a Border Police sniper during a Gaza border riot last month on poor deployment of troops, not overly restrictive open-fire regulations, the military said Friday.

On August 21, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip held a large demonstration along the Gaza border, near the defunct Karni Crossing. At one point during the demonstration, dozens of rioters rushed the border barrier, up to a hole in the concrete wall that was being used by Israeli snipers as a firing position. One man, armed with a gun, approached this hole in the wall, stuck his pistol through it and fired three times. One of these shots struck border guard Barel Hadaria Shmueli in the head, critically wounding him. He died of his injury on August 30.

In the aftermath of Shmueli’s death, his parents — as well as right-wing members of the opposition — have been highly critical of the military, accusing the IDF of putting in place unclear and dangerous rules of engagement that prevented troops from keeping back the rioters from the barrier. A small number of soldiers also joined this criticism, launching a campaign on social media saying that the IDF top brass had “tied its hands.”

The IDF immediately launched an internal investigation, the initial findings of which it said refuted these claims.

“It would have been correct to deploy the troops and use them differently once the violent........

© The Times of Israel

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