Palestinian mourners cry during a funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin on August 20, 2013
Palestinian mourners cry during a funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin on August 20, 2013. © Jaafar Ashtiyeh - AFP/File
Palestinian mourners cry during a funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin on August 20, 2013
AFP
Last updated: September 11, 2013

Israel closes probe into Palestinian activist killing

Israel's army has decided to close an investigation into the killing of a Palestinian activist during a West Bank demonstration in 2009, an Israeli rights group said Tuesday.

According to B'Tselem, the military's prosecutor general had decided to close the case for lack of evidence.

Bassem Abu Rahmeh, 30, who was struck in the chest by a tear-gas canister on April 17, 2009 at a protest in the village of Bilin, and died of his wounds.

The army had decided to open an investigation into Abu Rahmeh's death in 2010 after a team of international experts found its forces had fired the tear gas in violation of regulations.

The high-velocity projectiles are designed to disperse crowds but can be lethal if fired directly at individuals.

The non-governmental group Yesh Din, which took the case to the Israeli Supreme Court on behalf of Abu Rahmeh's family, deplored the decision to close the investigation.

"This decision is unacceptable, especially in light of international experts having determined that the tear gas was fired almost directly at Abu Rahmeh," it said in a statement.

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