Ramallah, December 7, 2023—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy in the northern occupied West Bank last night.
Omar Mahmoud Sadeq Abu Baker, 16, was shot in the chest by an Israeli soldier around 8:30 p.m. on December 6 in the Palestinian town of Yabad, south of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Omar was allegedly throwing stones at Israeli soldiers during an Israeli military incursion into Yabad when he was shot from a distance of about 50 meters (164 feet). A private vehicle brought Omar to a Palestinian ambulance which transported him to Jenin Governmental Hospital. Doctors pronounced Omar dead on arrival.
“Palestinian children live in a hyper-militarized environment where Israeli forces routinely enter Palestinian communities at night to conduct arrests as well as shoot and kill Palestinians, including children,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli forces have killed three times as many Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank this year than in all of 2022, and no one has been held accountable.
Three other Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces during the incursion into Yabad last night. Yabad is surrounded by Israeli settlements and Israeli military infrastructure and is regularly subjected to Israeli military incursion and attacks by Israeli settlers.
68 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.
So far this year, Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 108 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 94 Palestinian children with live ammunition, nine 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.
At least 253 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
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.