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The Killing of Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Abu Daher
Institute of Contemporary Arts
December 2022
Beitunia, Palestine, Nakba Day: 15 May 2014
(Investigation 2014 – 2015)

On 15 May 2014, two Palestinian teenagers – 17-yearold Nadeem Nawara and 16-year-old Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu Daher – were shot and killed by Israeli forces in the town of Beitunia, after a day of protests marking Nakba Day (the annual commemoration of the forced displacement of Palestinians in 1948). Both deaths were captured on security cameras installed on a nearby shop, as well as by TV film crews. The footage showed the two teenagers were killed while walking unarmed and posing no threat. The Israeli military denied its security personnel were involved – despite CNN footage showing border policemen discharging their weapons in the protestors’ direction – claiming they used only non-lethal rubber coated munitions fired through special attachments to their guns.

Working with the NGO Defense for Children International, Palestine, Forensic Architecture analysed and synchronised multiple media documenting the killings, including CCTV, television news footage, and still photographs, as well as testimonies from individuals present at the scene, and evidence gathered on the aural signatures of gunshots. Through the combination of this evidence, and wider analysis of the use of rubber bullets and live rounds by Israeli forces, Forensic Architecture showed that the killing involved a complex effort to hide its tracks – a border policeman had used his weapon to shoot live ammunition through a rubber bullet extension.

The policeman, Ben Deri, was arrested in November 2014 for the manslaughter of Nawara (but not of Abu-Daher) and put on trial, leading to a massive public campaign in his favour. Despite the overwhelming evidence for his intentional killing of the teenagers, the prosecution agreed to a plea deal, with Deri pleading guilty to negligent killing only.

Commissioned by: Defense for Children International, Palestine, on behalf of the parents of Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu Daher.
Project team: Eyal Weizman (Principal Investigator), Nick Axel (Project Coordinator), Jacob Burns, Steffen Krämer
Audio investigation: Lawrence Abu Hamdan