Israeli authorities on Sunday cleared the police of injustice in the case of a 9-year-old boy who lost an eye after he was apparently shot in the face by an Israeli officer earlier this year.
Malik Eissa was struck by what appeared to be a sponge-tipped ammunition last February and lost vision in his left eye. Residents said he had just come off a school bus in the Palestinian area of Issawiya in East Jerusalem when police opened fire. Police then said they were responding to riots in the crowded neighborhood and used what they call non-lethal weapons.
In a statement sent to the Associated Press on Saturday, the Justice Department said its unit for internal police investigations concluded that while the incident was “sad”, there was not enough reason to charge after interviewing witnesses and reviewing video. Pictures and other evidence.
It said police were then conducting an arrest operation and were attacked by a group of stone throwers it also said medical experts could not determine whether the boy was hit by a bullet or a rock. It said, however, that the investigation unit had ordered a review of operational practices, including its use of sponge-tipped bullets in civilian areas.
Malik’s father, Wael Issa, told the Associated Press that his family had been the victim of injustice twice – first when the boy was shot and now with the investigation closed.
“When my son was shot, members of the investigation unit came to the hospital. They wanted to cry. They told me, ‘Don’t worry, those responsible for shooting him will be held accountable,'” he said Sunday. “But 10 months after investigating, they decided to close the file.”
He said the boy suffers from constant headaches and psychological problems and is not back in school because of repeated surgery and embarrassment about his appearance.
He said his son finally agreed to return to school two weeks ago after receiving a glass eye, but stopped going after several days due to a shameful incident.
“That eye fell on the students. He feels terrible,” he said. “Frankly speaking, I do not believe that I will ever get justice in this system.”
Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups have long accused Israel of whitewashing injustice by its security forces.
B’Tselem, Israel’s leading human rights group, said the case was “an example of money laundering at work.”
“Every single case is isolated from a series of technical details, as if it were a single incident, before an open fire policy,” the organization said, further accusing police of operating an “oppressed civilian population to carry out a trade and Annexation, “which leads to civilian casualties and punishment for those who harm them.
Issawiya is part of vast Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in the Six-Day War in 1967 along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories the Palestinians want for a future state. Israel later annexed vast Jerusalem in a move that is not internationally recognized and sees the entire city as its capital. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as their future capital.
Issawiya was the site of frequent police raids that frequently provoked demonstrations or clashes. The police blame the violence on local youthful, whom they blame in throwing stones and fire bamboo on patrol vehicles.