Ramallah, November 15, 2023—A Palestinian boy who was shot in the chest by an Israeli sniper in Jenin two weeks ago succumbed to his wounds yesterday.
Yamen Kamal Ahmad Al-Atiq, 17, was shot in the chest by an Israeli sniper from a distance of about 100 meters (328 feet) away around 4:30 a.m. on October 29 in front of the Grand Mosque of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. An ambulance transferred Yamen to Jenin Governmental Hospital, where he underwent surgery before being transferred to An-Najah University Hospital in Nablus due to the severity of his condition. Doctors performed several additional surgeries on Yamen, who remained in the intensive care unit until he was pronounced dead around 2:30 p.m. on November 14.
“For years, Israeli forces have unlawfully killed Palestinian children at protests and the world accepted it,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli forces are exploiting the impunity they now not only enjoy, but rely on, to expand lethal and unlawful tactics against an occupied population where children bear the brunt of Israeli aggression.”
Yamen was participating in a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza that began on October 27. Israeli forces entered Jenin on October 29 and opened fire on protestors.
The bullet that struck Yamen was likely an expanding bullet, according to documentation collected by DCIP. These bullets used by Israeli forces are designed to expand inside the body upon impact, causing massive internal injuries. Customary international law prohibits the use of expanding bullets, or any bullets that expand or flatten easily in the human body, though DCIP regularly documents fatalities and injuries seemingly as a result of expanding bullets, also known as dumdum bullets.
52 Palestinian children have been killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according to documentation collected by DCIP, when the Israeli military began a full-scale bombardment on the Gaza Strip dubbed Operation Iron Swords.
So far this year, Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 92 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 79 Palestinian children with live ammunition, nine Palestinian children were killed in drone strikes, and four Palestinian children were killed by missiles fired from a U.S.-sourced Apache attack helicopter.
At least 182 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
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.