Israeli forces kill, confiscate body of 17-year-old Palestinian boy near Hebron

May 27, 2024
17-year-old Majd Shaher Ismail Al-Aramin was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: Courtesy of the Al-Aramin family)

Ramallah, May 27, 2024—Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy northeast of Hebron yesterday. 

Majd Shaher Ismail Al-Aramin, 17, was shot by Israeli forces around 7:40 p.m. on May 26 near Sair town, northeast of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Majd allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at the Beit Einun roundabout when Israeli forces shot him. Majd was struck with a bullet in the head behind the ear. Majd’s body remained on the ground for half an hour and Israeli forces confiscated his body after killing him. 

“Majd grew up in a hyper militarized environment where Israeli soldiers and settlers enact violence against Palestinians side by side,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Palestinian children cannot rest even in death as Israeli authorities continue confiscating children’s bodies and withholding them from their families indefinitely.”

Around 9 p.m., Israeli intelligence officers summoned Majd’s father to an Israeli interrogation center known as Gush Etzion Center near Hebron. Israeli forces informed him that his son had been killed and allowed him to identify Majd’s body by showing him a picture of the child while he was on the ground. His father was released from Israeli military custody while Majd’s body remains withheld. 

Israeli forces and settlers have killed 46 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank in 2024, including two United States citizens, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 

127 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.

In 2023, Israeli forces and settlers killed at least 121 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 103 Palestinian children with live ammunition, 13 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.

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.

Israeli forces have withheld the bodies of at least 37 Palestinian children since June 2016, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Five of the children’s bodies have since been released to their families, while 32 Palestinian children’s bodies remain withheld by Israeli authorities.

Israeli authorities’ practice of confiscating and withholding Palestinian bodies is 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 of 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. 

In September 2019, the Israeli Supreme Court approved the practice of confiscating human remains after several legal challenges to the policy. On November 27, 2019, Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett ordered all bodies of Palestinians alleged to have attacked Israeli citizens or soldiers to be withheld and not returned to their families. Israel is the only country in the world with such a policy of confiscating human remains, according to Adalah.

Please wait...

Never miss an update.

Read the privacy policy.

We will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time.