Ramallah, January 7, 2024—A 17-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by an Israeli drone strike early this morning during an Israeli military incursion into Jenin.
Wadea Yaser Hasan Asous, 17, was struck by an Israeli drone-fired missile around 5:15 a.m. today near the Palestinian village of Mothalath Al-Shohada, just south of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Israeli forces were withdrawing south from a military incursion into Jenin that began around midnight when a number of young Palestinian men opposite the Iraqi Army Martyrs’ Cemetery targeted Israeli military vehicles with homemade explosive devices. Then, an Israeli drone fired a missile toward a different group of Palestinians, including Wadea. Ambulances brought Wadea to Jenin Governmental Hospital along with six other Palestinian young men who were killed in the attack. Wadea was transferred to Al-Razi Hospital where he was pronounced dead around 12:30 p.m.
“Israeli forces know no bounds as they are buoyed by systemic impunity and act with complete disregard to international norms,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli forces are now empowered more than ever to increasingly target and kill Palestinian children across the Occupied Palestinian Territory with zero consequence.”
Wadea suffered shrapnel injuries and severe burns to his head, neck, and chest, according to information collected by DCIP.
Wadea is the second Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank in 2024, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 17-year-old Usaid Tareq Anis Rimawi was shot and killed by Israeli forces on January 5 in Beit Rima.
83 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 military offensive on the Gaza Strip dubbed Operation Iron Swords.
In 2023, Israeli forces and settlers killed at least 121 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 102 Palestinian children with live ammunition, 14 Palestinian children were killed in drone strikes, four Palestinian children were killed by missiles fired from a U.S.-sourced Apache attack helicopter, and one child was killed in an Israeli warplane airstrike.
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.