Israeli forces shoot, kill 14-year-old Palestinian boy near Bethlehem

Jan 19, 2023
Israeli forces shot and killed 14-year-old Amr Khaled Lutfi Al-Khmour near the entrance to Dheisheh refugee camp on January 16. (Photo: Courtesy of the Al-Khmour family)

Ramallah, January 19, 2023—Israeli forces shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy in the southern occupied West Bank on Monday.

Amr Khaled Lutfi Al-Khmour, 14, was shot and killed by Israeli forces around 5:40 a.m. on January 16 near the entrance to Dheisheh refugee camp south of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, according to information collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Amr sustained a gunshot wound to the head during confrontations while Israeli forces withdrew from Dheisheh refugee camp after conducting an arrest operation. Amr was transferred by a private car to the Arab Society Hospital in Beit Jala. He arrived in critical condition and succumbed to his wounds around 1:15 pm.

“Palestinian children live in a hyper-militarized context where the Israeli military's nighttime and early morning incursions into Palestinian communities to arrest and intimidate Palestinian civilians is the norm,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “In 2023, there has been no respite from Israeli forces’ unlawful killing of Palestinian children as Israeli forces continue to shoot to kill Palestinian children during nighttime incursions into Palestinian communities.”

Amr is the fourth Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2023, and the second Palestinian boy killed from Dheisheh refugee camp, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Amer Ghazi Mahmoud Zeitoun in Balata refugee camp in the early morning of January 5. Israeli forces shot and killed 15-year-old Adam Issam Shaker Ayyad on January 3 in Dheisheh refugee camp. On January 1, an Israeli sniper shot 17-year-old Fuad Mahmoud Ahmad Abed in Kafr Dan, west of Jenin, and he was pronounced dead early in the morning on January 2. 

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.

53 Palestinian children were killed in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP, including 36 Palestinian children shot and killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the occupied West Bank. DCIP documented the killing of 17 Palestinian children between August 5–7 after Israeli forces launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip. 

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