Monday, June 09, 2014

The HRW report I mentioned earlier today does shed light on something: the time of the shooting of the injured youth Mohammed Azza.

HRW says:

Israeli forces shot and wounded Azza in the chest at around 12:20 p.m., about 15 meters from where Nawareh and Salameh were later fatally shot, Azza’s father and a witness told Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch has not seen any video footage of Azza at the time he was shot. Azza stated he was not throwing rocks at that time.

...According to the reports, Azza suffered a gunshot injury to the left anterior chest wall and the left lung.
We have video from Camera 2 of Azza apparently being shot:



Starting from 12:20:00 on the security cam (37:20 of the video) you can see Azza moving towards the lower right side of the view, right next to a burning tire. He is hurling lots of stones, breaking some into smaller pieces on the ground.

Now that we have established how truthful Azza is in his testimony, we can go on.

At 12:20:42 on the CCTV time we see Azza suddenly crouch and turn - again, completely inconsistent with being shot in the chest with live fire, but possibly consistent with being hit with a rubber bullet. Two Arab girls in the lower right of the screen barely flinch at the sound, and continue to walk into the apparent line of fire, unconcerned.

Azza staggers back north, where he is quickly aided by a few people who help bring him to an ambulance.

There are photos of, supposedly, Azza with what appears to be a lot of blood. (I am not sure at what point he loses his light colored top/scarf.)

At least one photo appears to have been retouched, though. Here is the first one from the photographer's Facebook page:



Here's the version from Palestine News Network:


That is very bright blood, especially on dark clothing.

In the video, no blood is apparent on the street after the shooting. Still, this photo of him being carried to the ambulance seems to show blood on the carrier's jeans.



HRW's account is wildly different from the "eyewitnesses" that they love to quote. Mohammed told The Guardian that he was shot in the back, not the chest. 

Fakher Zayed in the same Guardian video says that he witnessed three youths get shot: first one in the chest, the second in the back, and the third in an unspecified area, a half hour after the second. Since Nawareh was facing south and Salameh was facing north, and Azi was according to the video and HRW hit 85 minutes before Nawareh, none of what Zayed says squares with the facts (unless there was a mystery fourth incident.)

Azza's account of the events to The National is also utterly inconsistent with his statements elsewhere and with the video:

“The protest wasn’t so big when we got there [at about 10.30am], there were only around 70 boys and four soldiers who were shooting rubber bullets and tear gas. When we went to the front, everyone was moving fast and throwing rocks. I was looking directly at a soldier under the vine tree and I wasn’t moving,” Mohammed recalls, sitting next to his father in their detached home.

“Then I heard the sound of the rifle. I thought it was a rubber bullet but then I felt something burning inside me. I started running with some of the other guys and they told me that I had been shot in my back. Some people picked me up and carried me to the ambulance.”
So he was looking directly at the soldier who shot him and he was shot in the back? He started running with them even though no one is seen on the video?

None of this bothers Human Rights Watch. HRW says that Azza suffered wounds "to the chest" but then later says that "Mohammed Azza, 15, told Human Rights Watch that Israeli forces shot him in the back earlier during the protests." So HRW, trying to square the accounts, instead of showing skepticism over Azza's words compared to the medical report, seems to be claiming that Azza was shot twice!

The accounts are absurdly inconsistent, and they do not jive with the video at the moment that HRW says the event occurred, but HRW just shrugs and insists Israel shot him with live fire in the chest, causing him to...crouch down and run under his own power.

Here is the supposedly critically wounded Azza, smiling for the camera in a photo posted on the day after the incident:


And here is is five days later:


I have no idea what really happened at 12:20 PM on May 15. I do know that Azza is lying, big time, about what he was doing at the time, as are all the other "eyewitnesses" and his family. Based on his reaction and the reaction of the passersby, I think it is highly unlikely that he was hit by a live bullet.

More importantly, Human Rights Watch also has no idea what really happened - but that doesn't stop them from pushing their own theories as if they are fact.

(h/t Bob Knot)

UPDATE: I wrote this based on HRW's time of 12:20 for the incident. But DCI is claiming that they have a CAM 3 view of the incident that happened around 13:00. (Conveniently, we don't have CAM 1 footage at 13:00, it starts at 13:04, and that's the highest quality camera.)

Someone is wrong. 



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