Ramallah, October 15, 2023—Israeli forces killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy today near Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.
Karam Ayman Mohammad Dweikat, 17, was shot with live ammunition by an Israeli soldier around 12:30 p.m. in the Palestinian village of Beita, located southeast of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. During confrontations with Israeli forces accompanying Israeli settlers to the Mount Al-Arma area of Beita, an Israeli soldier deployed about 30–50 meters (100–165 feet) away shot Karam in the waist and the bullet exited his back. He fell to the ground and was carried to an ambulance that transported him to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus. Karam was declared dead at 1 p.m. today. Video of the killing suggests that Karam did not present any threat to life or serious injury when he was targeted by Israeli forces.
“Israeli forces know no bounds and are empowered to shoot to kill Palestinians, including children, and now, as a matter of routine, unlawfully shoot and kill Palestinian children,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “We are witnessing attacks against Palestinians throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory as Israeli forces and settlers are emboldened by systemic impunity and international support to commit war crimes on a whim.”
Karam joined a group of Palestinian youth from Beita around 11 a.m. to confront Israeli settlers near Mount Al-Arma, located to the east of the village, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Confrontations immediately ensued with Israeli forces accompanying the settlers as the group arrived. Israeli settlers, accompanied and protected by Israeli forces, often go to Mount Al-Arma and have made attempts to take the land from Palestinians for several years.
During confrontations with Israeli forces accompanying Israeli settlers to the Mount Al-Arma area of Beita, an Israeli soldier opened fire from about 30–50 meters (100–165 feet) away. Video of the killing suggests that Karam did not present any threat to life or serious injury. pic.twitter.com/vDBi1wzWkJ— Defense for Children (@DCIPalestine) October 15, 2023
Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law. Israel’s policy of settling its civilians in occupied territory is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Throughout the occupied West Bank, Palestinians have organized marches and demonstrations over the past week in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip bearing the brunt of Israeli land, sea, and air attacks after Palestinian armed groups fired rockets toward Israel and breached the Israeli perimeter fence surrounding Gaza early on October 7, launching attacks inside Israel. Israeli forces initiated a large-scale military operation dubbed Operation Iron Swords.
16 Palestinian children have been shot and killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7, when the Israeli military began a full-scale assault on the Gaza Strip dubbed Operation Iron Swords.
So far this year, Israeli forces and settlers have shot and killed at least 55 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces killed one additional Palestinian child with a targeted drone strike in the occupied West Bank.
At least 54 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.