Ramallah, December 6, 2023—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy in the northern occupied West Bank early this morning.
Abdulrahman Imad Khaled Bani Odeh, 16, was shot and killed by Israeli forces around 3 a.m. today during an Israeli military incursion into the Palestinian village of Tamoun, south of Tubas in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Abdulrahman sustained three gunshot wounds to his legs fired by multiple Israeli snipers from a distance of about 50 meters (164 feet), while his younger brother, 13-year-old Obaida, was shot once in the thigh and managed to run for help. Obaida informed a Palestinian ambulance crew that his brother was injured, and paramedics found Abdulrahman about ten minutes later. Both boys were transported to the Turkish Government Hospital in Tubas, where Abdulrahman was pronounced dead.
“Palestinian children live in a hypermilitarized environment where Israeli forces routinely enter Palestinian communities in the middle of the night to conduct arrests as well as shoot and kill Palestinians, including children,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli snipers fired on two Palestinian children who clearly posed no threat to their lives, showing that Israeli forces feel totally empowered to kill children with absolutely no accountability.”
Israeli forces entered Tamoun during the early morning hours of December 6 in order to carry out arrest operations, and armed Palestinians confronted Israeli forces in several areas of the village. Abdulrahman and Obaida were in the eastern area of Tamoun, near the Al-Maktoum School, when Israeli forces shot them. The children were moving some damaged tires on the side of the road in an attempt to close down the road when Israeli snipers fired live ammunition at them.
67 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 107 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 93 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 249 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.