Between 2011 and 2020, DCIP documented at least 9 children killed and two injured while aiding Palestinian armed groups
Palestinian children are also vulnerable to recruitment by Palestinian armed groups. DCIP drafted a written code of conduct, signed by the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces coalition in 2010, declaring “the involvement of children, whether individually or within groups, in armed conflict, is a grave violation of their fundamental rights [...] We stress the fact that effective child protection from the impact of armed conflict is achieved through our unconditional commitment which acknowledges that children have no part to play in armed conflict.”
In 2012, the Palestinian Authority enacted the amended Child Law, which "prohibits the recruitment or use of children in military actions or armed conflict" and requires the State of Palestine to take measures to ensure that children are not recruited or used by armed forces or armed groups. While these changes show progress, they have failed to end child recruitment.
DCIP has documented Palestinian armed groups recruiting and using Palestinian children during active hostilities, often during active hostilities with Israel.
During Israel’s 2012 military offensive on the Gaza Strip, DCIP documented one case involving a child recruited by Hamas’ military wing to act as a lookout.
In 2014, during the Israeli military offensive known as Operation Protective Edge, DCIP documented the fatalities of six children who were likely affiliated with Palestinian armed groups when they were targeted and killed.
In several cases documented by DCIP, child fatalities that occurred within the context of activity by or involvement with Palestinian armed groups were accidental.
On May 4, 2020, 17-year-old Adham Mahmoud Mohammad al-Masri, died after sustaining a gunshot wound to his chest while stationed at an Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades reconnaissance site in North Gaza. Information collected by DCIP suggests an accidental death, and that Adham was struck by “friendly fire.”
Similarly, 11-year-old Odai Mansour Abu Hassan died on July 15, 2018, when an improvised explosive device accidentally detonated on his roof. Odai’s father was a field commander in a military wing of the Fatah movement.
On April 11, 2018, 17-year-old Hashem Abdulfattah Othman Kallab, a member of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, was traveling in a rickshaw with three others near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip when an explosive accidentally ignited, killing them all.
Israel’s ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip has created an acute, human-made humanitarian crisis and deteriorating economic context within which children may be more vulnerable to recruitment, forced or voluntary, by armed groups.