Ramallah, September 17, 2018—A 16-year-old died in a Gaza Strip hospital late Saturday night from wounds sustained by Israeli forces 12 days prior.
Suhaib Abdel-Salam Mohammed Abu Kashef from Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern part of the Gaza Strip died in the European hospital shortly before midnight on September 15. On August 3, Israeli forces shot the boy in the neck with live ammunition in the context of “March of Return” protests near the perimeter fence.
“Israeli forces’ routine use of excessive force against Palestinian children protesting near the perimeter fence in the Gaza Strip is a severe violation of children’s rights,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at Defense for Children International - Palestine. “Israel has obliged itself to uphold international law and must be held accountable for these killings.”
According to DCIP sources, Suhaib was participating in a march around 5:30 p.m. on August 3 near the village of Khuza'a, east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, when an Israeli soldier fired a live bullet at the boy’s neck.
An ambulance transferred Suhaib to the European hospital where doctors described his condition as “serious.” Medical tests revealed that his spinal cord had been severed, causing paralysis and requiring the boy to be placed on a respirator.
Suhaib was treated outside of the Gaza Strip, in a hospital in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, between August 29 and September 13 before returning to the European hospital in the Gaza Stip. He succumbed to his wounds around 11 p.m. on August 3.
Suhaib is the 28th child to be killed by Israeli forces this year in the context of “March of Return” protests in the Gaza Strip. His death brings the total number of Palestinian children killed across the Occupied Palestinian Territory at the hands of Israeli forces or settlers since the start of the year up to 40, including one child who allegedly carried out a stabbing attack in a Jewish settlement.
A further child, Yousef Abu Jazar, 15, reportedly died from Israeli sniper fire in an Israeli hospital after attempting to cross the perimeter fence on April 29, according to the child’s family. Yousef’s parents are still awaiting official notification and the release of their child’s body.
In a number of cases, DCIP concluded based on evidence gathered that children did not appear to present an imminent, mortal threat or threat of serious injury at the time Israeli forces employed deadly force against them.