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

Jun 18, 2024
Israeli forces shot and killed 15-year-old Sultan Abdulrahman Sultan Khatatbeh on June 15 in the northern occupied West Bank. (Photo: Courtesy of the Khatatbeh family)

Ramallah, June 18, 2024—Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy on Saturday. 

Sultan Abdulrahman Sultan Khatatbeh, 15, was shot in the chest by Israeli forces around 5:20 p.m. on June 15 in the Palestinian town of Beit Furik, east of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Sultan was standing with a group of young Palestinians throwing stones at heavily armored Israeli military vehicles that entered Beit Furik around 4:45 p.m. An Israeli soldier inside one of the vehicles shot Sultan in the chest from a distance of 60 to 100 meters (196 to 328 feet). Sultan fell to the ground and a Palestinian ambulance transported him to the Balsam Medical Center in Beit Furik then transferred him to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. During the transfer, Israeli forces fired live ammunition at the ambulance. Sultan was pronounced dead around 6:30 p.m. at Rafidia Hospital.

“Palestinian children like Sultan grow up in a hyper-militarized environment where Israeli forces regularly enter Palestinian communities to arrest, injure, and kill Palestinians, including children,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “The United States must stop sending weapons to the Israeli military that are used to kill Palestinian children without restraint, whether in Gaza or the West Bank.”

Israeli soldiers in seven heavily armored military vehicles entered Beit Furik around 4:45 p.m. on June 15 and roamed through neighborhoods firing live ammunition and tear gas canisters at Palestinian youths confronting Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces withdrew around 6:30 p.m.

During the incursion into Beit Furik, Israeli forces killed Sultan, shot two Palestinian adults in the legs, and severely beat an ambulance driver before destroying the ambulance. 

Israeli forces and settlers have killed 52 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank in 2024, including two United States citizens, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 

133 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.

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.

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