Despite the decision to indict the shooter and at least one other soldier, B’Tselem called the charges “a new low,” upset at the expected charges of negligence, as opposed to the more serious charges of murder or manslaughter. The NGO said Awad was unarmed when he was shot in the back while fleeing.
The state explained in its letter to the High Court that although there was a basis for manslaughter or murder charges, the likelihood of conviction on those charges was too low, as Awad’s family never turned over his body. Thus, the state was unable to determine beyond a reasonable doubt that his being shot was the cause of death.
B’Tselem criticized the state’s explanation, saying that even if it were true, the state has created structural problems and trust issues in its past handling of autopsies of Palestinians.