The Israeli High Court Of Justice had decided that a petition demanding a full investigation into the fatal shooting of two Palestinians in Awarta village near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, is “unnecessary” as the Israeli army had already ordered an investigation. Last month, representing the families of the victims, Israeli attorney, Michael Sfrad, of the Israeli Human Rights group Yesh Din filed a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice and demanded the court to open a criminal investigation into the shooting.
On Wednesday, the state told the High Court that Chief Military Prosecutor, Avihai Mandelblit had already ordered a military investigation that would start by the beginning of October.
The two farmers were identified as Mohammad Faisal Qawariq, 19, and Salah Mohammad Kamel Qawariq, 19.
The deadly shooting of the two Palestinians took place this past March when Israeli soldiers stopped two farmers who were walking near Itamar settlement.
The army claimed that soldiers asked the two farmers to present their identity cards but they said that they were not carrying them; the two farmers said they were on their way to their farmlands.
The soldiers claimed that the two farmers acted in a suspicious way and that they and that their responses were not clear.
The commander of the unit said that he shot the two to death when one of them attempted to attack one of the soldiers with a pitchfork.
The commander was removed from his position and, reportedly, will not be allowed to serve as a military commander in the future.
Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, stated that the incident could have had a different outcome, and that the deadly results could have be avoided.
Local farmers reported that the soldiers separated the two farmers from each other, and forced them on the ground without cuffing them.
The farmers added that the two were not carrying anything when they were forced to sit on the ground, and that they were both shot while sitting and not while standing, an issue that negates the army claims that the two attempted to attack the soldiers.