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Israel responsible for Arab girl’s death

The parents of Abir Aramin have sought justice for their daughter, who was killed by a rubber-coated bullet. The parents of Abir Aramin have sought justice for their daughter, who was killed by a rubber-coated bullet. (AFP/Getty Images File/2007)
Associated Press / August 18, 2010

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JERUSALEM — A Jerusalem court has ruled the Israeli state was responsible for the death of a 10-year-old Palestinian girl killed by gunfire three years ago as she stood some distance from a demonstration.

The case gained wide attention because the girl’s father, Basam Aramin, was a Palestinian militant who became an advocate for Israeli-Palestinian coexistence. He helped found Combatants for Peace, a group of former Israeli and Palestinian fighters who work for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Abir Aramin was critically wounded in January 2007 as Israeli border police were dispersing a demonstration of rock-throwing youths in the village of Anata, north of Jerusalem. The girl was hit by a rubber-coated bullet. She died two days later in a Jerusalem hospital.

Police initially said she was killed by a stray rock.

“There cannot be any dispute over the conclusion that Abir was hit by a rubber bullet fired by border police, meaning the fire was conducted either due to negligence or violation of the rules of engagement,’’ the court said in its ruling Monday, released yesterday.

“We received the news with tears,’’ said Basam Aramin. “Certainly, we felt some justice has been achieved so far. For justice to be complete, her killer must be put in jail.’’

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