JERUSALEM (JTA) — The autopsy on a Palestinian teenager whose death inflamed rioting in eastern Jerusalem showed that he was killed by a sponge bullet to the head, Palestinian doctors said.
The autopsy results on Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Sunuqrut were made public on Sunday by Palestinian doctors. Israeli doctors reportedly are waiting for further tests to determine what killed the 16-year-old.
Sunuqrut, who died in Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital on Sept. 7 nearly a week after being shot by Israeli Border Police at a demonstration in eastern Jerusalem, would be the first person to be killed by a sponge-tipped bullet, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz.
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’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 at the 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.
Protests in eastern Jerusalem grew the day after Sunuqrut died; the area 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.