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12 December 2011 Last updated at 07:56 ET
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Israeli army investigates Palestinian protester's death
Pictures appear to show Mustafa Tamimi being shot at from close range
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Israel's army says it is investigating the death of a Palestinian protester who died after being struck in the face by a tear-gas canister at the weekend.
Pictures of the incident appear to show Mustafa Tamimi, 28, being shot at from close range by an Israeli soldier.
Witnesses said he had been among a small group of Palestinians throwing stones at army vehicles in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on Friday.
Human rights activists have accused the army of using disproportionate force.
Tamimi is believed to be the 20th person to have been killed over the past eight years at similar demonstrations against the seizure by Jewish settlers of land belonging to Palestinian villages in the area.
'Exceptional incident'
Witnesses said Tamimi had been throwing rocks at an Israeli army 4x4 vehicle after the main protest had ended on Friday, when a soldier inside opened the rear door and fired a 40mm-calibre tear-gas canister directly at him from only a few metres away.
Photographs taken by an Israeli pro-Palestinian activist, Haim Schwarczenberg, show Tamimi running towards the vehicle, the tear-gas launcher emerging from the opened door, the canister travelling through the air, and then Tamimi falling to the ground, clutching his face.
There were further clashes between mourners and Israeli troops at Tamimi's funeral on Sunday
Tamimi was taken in a critical condition to Beilinson Hospital in central Israel, where he died of his injuries on Saturday.
At his funeral on Sunday, there were further clashes between mourners and Israeli soldiers.
The Israeli army called the death an "exceptional incident" and promised a full inquiry.
Sources in the army's Central Command told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the soldier had stated that he "didn't see" Tamimi.
However, the army's rules of engagement reportedly prohibit the firing of tear gas grenades from a rifle pointed directly at demonstrators, or from a distance of less than 40m (130ft). They also state that the soldier must use the rifle's sight and verify that no-one is in the line of fire.
The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said it had documented many cases in which tear-gas canisters were fired directly at people during the weekly protest in Nabi Saleh, and elsewhere in the West Bank.
"For several years now, B'Tselem has been warning officials that security forces fire tear-gas canisters directly at persons during demonstrations. The organisation has demanded... that commanders clarify to soldiers serving in the field that firing tear-gas canisters directly at a person is unlawful," it said in a statement.
"Tear gas is supposed to serve as a non-lethal crowd control measure, means to disperse demonstrations, and is not meant to be used as a weapon. Therefore, firing tear-gas canisters directly at persons breaches the rules of engagement."
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From other news sites
Time Palestinian Protester Dies From Wounds 47 hrs ago
Yahoo! Palestinian hit in face by tear gas canister dies 50 hrs ago
CTV.ca Palestinian protester dies after hit by gas canister 51 hrs ago
Times of India Palestinian protester dies of wounds from Israel attack 53 hrs ago
MySanAntonio Activists: Palestinian protester dies from wounds 54 hrs ago
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