Israeli forces fatally shoot 15-year-old Palestinian boy in the back

Feb 22, 2024
15-year-old Fadi Said Kamel Suleiman was shot and killed by Israeli forces on February 21. (Photo: Courtesy of the Suleiman family)

Ramallah, February 22, 2024—Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in the northern occupied West Bank yesterday.

Fadi Said Kamel Suleiman, 15, was shot in the back by Israeli forces around 3:15 p.m. on February 21 in the Palestinian town of Azzun, east of Qalqilya in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Fadi, while standing on the roof of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society building, allegedly threw some stones toward a heavily armored Israeli military vehicle. An Israeli soldier near the military vehicle shot Fadi in the back from a distance of about 150 meters (492 feet). Israeli forces then cordoned off the PRCS building so no one could offer aid to him as he bled out. After about 30 minutes, Israeli forces withdrew and the PRCS crew first transported Fadi to Azzun Governmental Hospital, then Darwish Nazal Governmental Hospital in Qalqilya, where he was pronounced dead.

“Israeli forces routinely shoot Palestinian children then prevent paramedics from reaching them,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “As Palestinian children are increasingly targets in the West Bank, Israeli forces’ rules of engagement seemingly allow direct targeting of Palestinian children where no threat exists to justify the use of intentional lethal force.”

Fadi’s father and uncle attempted to reach him after he was shot, but Israeli forces blocked them and fired warning shots. One of Fadi’s relatives was able to reach him as the Israeli military cordoned off the PRCS building by climbing up the side of the building. However, he could not assist or move Fadi due to Israeli forces’ presence at the building’s entrance.

101 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.

Israeli forces and settlers have killed 20 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank in 2024, including two United States citizens, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 

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 103 Palestinian children with live ammunition, 13 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.

News | Fatalities and Injuries
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