Ramallah, May 25, 2018—A 15-year-old Palestinian succumbed to his wounds Wednesday after Israeli forces shot him during a May 15 protest in the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Odai Akram Mohammad Abu Khalil died May 23 in a Nablus hospital from wounds sustained when he was shot by Israeli forces during protests commemorating the Nakba and in opposition to the U.S. embassy move, according to initial reports by Defense for Children International - Palestine.
“Blanket impunity given to Israeli soldiers enables the disproportionate and excessive use of force,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP. “Palestinian children will remain vulnerable to the unwarranted use of lethal force until Israeli soldiers are held accountable for their actions.”
Israeli forces shot and seriously injured Odai in the abdomen with live ammunition near a military checkpoint at the northern entrance to Ramallah on May 15. Confrontations between protesters and Israeli forces were taking place at the time of his injury, based on initial reports. He underwent treatment at Ramallah’s Palestine Medical Complex and Al-Najah University Hospital in Nablus. He remained in critical condition for eight days and was pronounced dead on May 23.
Some 27 Palestinians were injured during protests across the West Bank on May 15, according to the Ramallah Health Ministry, local news outlets reported.
An Israeli military spokesperson told Ma’an News Agency that rubber-coated metal bullets and 0.22 caliber live bullets were used on demonstrators during the protests at the Ramallah-area checkpoint.
Live fire, which constitutes a lethal amount of force, may only be used when a direct threat to life or of serious injury exists, under international law.
Between March 30 and May 15, Israeli forces killed fourteen Palestinian children in the context of "March of Return" protests along the Gaza Strip perimeter fence. In response, Defense for Children International last week called upon the international community to take urgent action around Israel’s unlawful killing of Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip.
Four years ago to the day that Israeli forces shot Odai, Israeli forces fatally shot Nadeem Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Abu Daher, 16, in what amounted to wilful killings.
Despite video, spatial, and audio forensic analysis showing an Israeli border police officer targeting and killing Nadeem, the officer received a light sentence for "accidentally" causing the child’s death.