Israeli forces kill, confiscate body of 17-year-old Palestinian girl in the northern occupied West Bank

Apr 08, 2024
Israeli military checkpoint in Tayasir in the Jordan Valley, located in the northern occupied West Bank, on June 11, 2020. (Photo: Activestills / Ahmad Al-Bazz)

Ramallah, April 8, 2024—Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian girl in the northern occupied West Bank earlier today then confiscated her body.

Asma Imad Saad Daraghmeh, 17, was shot and killed by Israeli forces at around 9:20 a.m. on April 8, near the Tayasir checkpoint, east of Tubas in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Asma allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack when Israeli forces shot her several times at a distance around 10 meters (33 feet). Israeli forces refused to allow the Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulance to reach the scene, which caused Asma to bleed out without receiving medical care. Asma’s body was taken by the forces and remains withheld.

“Asma 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.”

Asma laid on the ground at the checkpoint bleeding heavily, according to eyewitnesses.

DCIP is unable to confirm how many times Asma was shot or the locations of her injuries, since Israeli authorities are withholding her body. After killing Asma, Israeli forces closed off the checkpoint in both directions.

115 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.

Israeli forces and settlers have killed 34 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank in 2024, including two United States citizens, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

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 35 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 30 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.

News | Fatalities and Injuries
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