Ramallah, September 9, 2022—Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian boy yesterday in the central occupied West Bank.
Haitham Hani Mohammad Mubarak, 16, was shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces around 1 a.m. on September 8 near the village of Beitin, northeast of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Israeli forces prevented an ambulance from reaching Haitham’s body. Haitham died soon after and Israeli forces confiscated his body.
“Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian children with complete impunity,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “With each killing, Israeli forces highlight their complete disregard for international norms, brazenly perpetrating war crimes over and over again, as the international community merely expresses concern.”
It is unknown when Haitham’s body will be returned to his family making it difficult to ascertain the scope of injuries sustained and location of gunshot wounds.
Israeli authorities apply a policy of confiscating and withholding Palestinian bodies across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, a practice amounting to a violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, which include absolute prohibitions on cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, as well as stipulate that parties to an armed conflict must bury the deceased in an honorable way. For families, the practice amounts to collective punishment in violation of international humanitarian law.
Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or 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.
38 Palestinian children have been killed in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP, including 21 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. DCIP continues to investigate several incidents.
2021 was the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014. Israeli forces and armed civilians killed 78 Palestinian children, according to evidence collected by DCIP.