Palestinian doctors say autopsy on teen shows killed by sponge bullet

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA)– An autopsy on the body of Palestinian teen, whose death has spurred riots throughout eastern Jerusalem, shows that he was killed by a sponge bullet to the head.

The autopsy results were made public by Palestinian doctors on Sunday. Israeli doctors reportedly are waiting for further tests to determine what killed Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Sunuqrut.

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The day after Sunuqrut, 16, died in Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital on Sept. 7 protests began in eastern Jerusalem, which has been the scene of demonstrations and violence since the beginning of July. Hundreds of Palestinians have been detained during the two months of unrest, which started when a Palestinian teen was kidnapped and burned to death by Jewish Israelis in a revenge killing for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens, and with the launch of Israel’s military operation Protective Edge.

Sunuqrut’s father, Abd, told the Palestinian Maan news agency that his son was shot in the head at close range with a sponge-tipped bullet during the Sept. 1 rally in the Wadi Joz neighborhood. He claimed that his son was talking on the phone and not taking part in the demonstration.

Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Associated Press that the teen was hit in the leg with a sponge-tipped bullet while throwing stones during the demonstration. He then fell and injured his head, Israeli police claim.

The sponge-tipped bullets have been used for several years, since rubber-coated bullets were banned from Jerusalem because they proved to be lethal.

Sunuqrut would be the first person to be killed by a sponge-tipped bullet.