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‘IDF troops were never at risk in Naalin’

Ali Waked | YNet News

6 June 2009

Palestinian sources told Ynet Saturday that contrary to an IDF statement, the man killed during a Friday clash between Palestinian demonstrators and IDF forces in the town of Naalin, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, posed no danger whatsoever to the troops.

Akal Srur was killed by Border Guard fire during the riot. A subsequent military inquiry said that Srur, a known Hamas operative, attacked soldiers as part of a large group.

Nevertheless, a Ni’lin resident, who said he was standing by Srur when he was shot, told Ynet that the soldier who shot Srur was in no danger: “The soldier was to our right and Akal was running to the left to help an injured man… when he was shot in the heart.”

The resident also negated the IDF’s claims that veiled men were present at the rally: “It’s possible that some people covered their faced because of the tear gas, but there were no such men in Friday’s rally.”

According to security sources, some 200 Palestinians, peace activists and left-wing activists took part in the anti-security fence protest and it turned into a violent riot shortly after it began.

The IDF maintains that the protestors were hurling rocks at the troops and trying to damage the fence. The military further said that several soldiers were attacked by a group of men, some of them masked and that the soldiers used crowd control measures, which apparently contributed to Srur’s death.

The investigation into the course of the incident is still ongoing.