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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 16:40 GMT
Israeli army conviction praised
By Matt Prodger
BBC correspondent in Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers
The Israeli army is accused of failing to probe many deaths
Human rights campaigners have welcomed the conviction of an Israeli army officer for the killing of a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank.

A military court found Captain Zvi Kurtzky guilty of negligence over the death of Mohammed Zeid in October 2002.

The boy was fatally wounded in his home by a bullet fired by Captain Kurtzky.

It is the first time a soldier has been convicted over the death of a Palestinian since the start of the current intifada.

The officer was using live ammunition to disperse youths throwing stones in the West Bank village of Nazlat Zeid.

Although rights groups welcomed the conviction, the Israeli group B'Tselem says the military has failed to investigate adequately hundreds of deaths of other Palestinians killed by the military in unclear circumstances.

According to a spokesman for the Israeli Defence Forces, every incident in which someone not involved in terrorism is injured is investigated first by the army.

If suspicious, the incident is further investigated by military police.

Last month, a soldier was charged with manslaughter for the Gaza shooting of UK activist Tom Hurndall.


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