Ramallah, April 15, 2022—A Palestinian boy shot by Israeli forces in the northern occupied West Bank on Thursday morning succumbed to his wounds today.
Israeli forces shot 17-year-old Shawkat Kamal Shawkat Abed in the abdomen shortly after 8 a.m. on April 14 in Kafr Dan, a village located northwest of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Shawkat underwent surgery but succumbed to his injuries early in the morning on April 15, according to documentation gathered by DCIP.
“This week, Israeli forces have shot and killed three Palestinian boys in the occupied West Bank,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Systemic impunity has fostered an environment where Palestinian children are targeted by Israeli forces who know no bounds and shoot-to-kill in situations not justified by international law.”
Israeli forces entered Kafr Dan, a village eight kilometers (five miles) northwest of Jenin, in five armored military vehicles around 7 a.m. on April 14 and raided homes of Palestinian men wanted by Israeli authorities. During the raid, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian youth and fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades, according to information collected by DCIP.
As the Israeli military vehicles began withdrawing from the area around 8:15 a.m., Palestinian youth threw stones at the vehicles, an eyewitness told DCIP. Suddenly and without warning, an Israeli soldier pointed his gun out the rear window of the last vehicle in the convoy and began indiscriminately shooting at protesters from a distance of approximately 25 meters (80 feet), striking Shawkat and 29-year-old Shas Fuad Kamamji, according to the eyewitness.
Shawkat sustained a bullet wound in his lower abdomen, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Injuries suggest that Shawkat was struck with an exploding bullet that ruptured his blood vessels and veins.
Shawkat and Kamamji were taken by ambulance to Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin, where Kamamji was pronounced dead, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Shawkat was immediately taken into surgery and then transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit. Doctors could not control the bleeding, and Shawkat was pronounced dead around 4 a.m. on April 15.
Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present. However, investigations and evidence collected by DCIP regularly suggest that Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings.
The use of expanding and exploding bullets is a violation of international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Shawkat is the eighth Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2022 and the third Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces this week, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
Israeli forces shot and killed Qusai Fuad Mohammad Hamamra, 16, in Husan, near Bethlehem on April 13. Mohammad Hussein Mohammad Qassim succumbed to his wounds on April 11, a day after Israeli forces shot him in Jenin. Israeli forces shot and killed Sanad Mohammad Khalil Abu Atiya on March 31 in Jenin as he approached a wounded man in an attempt to render aid. Nader Haitham Fathi Rayyan, 16, was killed by Israeli forces on March 15 outside the entrance of Balata refugee camp located southeast of Nablus.
Israeli forces shot and killed Yamen Nafez Mahmoud Khanafseh in Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem on March 6. Israeli forces shot and killed 13-year-old Mohammad Rezq Shehadeh Salah on February 22 in Al-Khader, southwest of Bethlehem. An Israeli sniper shot and killed 16-year-old Mohammad Akram Ali Taher Abu Salah with live ammunition on February 13 while Israeli forces deployed in the village of Silat Al-Harithiya near Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
2021 was the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014. Israeli forces and armed civilians killed 78 Palestinian children, according evidence collected by DCIP.