Israeli atrocity or Palestinian blood libel?

Palestinians are charging that two Arab youths were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers at a nakba-day demonstration  last Thursday. Sources differ on their ages, where they were hit, and numerous other details.

Palestinians say the youths were not engaging with soldiers; Israeli sources say it was a full-fledged riot and soldiers lives were threatened. Palestinians say they were shot with live ammunition; Israelis say only rubber bullets were in use.

Here is the (heavily edited) surveillance video, from Palestinian sources:

These are very serious charges. It is imperative that they be fully investigated now, before evidence is unobtainable. Here are some questions that need to be answered:

1. Was anyone actually killed? In light of the faked killing of Mohammad al-Durah and its consequences — it has been called “the nuclear bomb of jihadi cognitive warfare” — it is necessary to ask this question.

2. If so, were they killed by Israelis?

3. If so, was the use of deadly force justified?

If in fact Israeli soldiers or Border Patrol personnel acted inappropriately, we should know. And if this is another Palestinian blood libel like the al-Durah affair, we should know that too.

Update [20 May 0955 PDT]: Here is the statement from the IDF spokesman this morning:

Last Thursday, several violent demonstrations took place throughout Judea and Samaria. In the Bitunia area, a violent demonstration of approximately 150 Palestinians began in which acts of violence took place including the burning of tires and rock hurling.

Security forces arrived to disperse the demonstration using rubber bullets and riot dispersal means.

During the day it was reported that two Palestinians were killed by security forces. An initial investigation revealed that no live fire was discharged during the day.

The incident remains under an ongoing investigation.

The video which has been circulating online in the past hours has been edited and does not reflect the full incident, including the extent of the violence of the rioters in the demonstration.

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