Israeli forces kill, confiscate body of Palestinian child in East Jerusalem

May 16, 2024
17-year-old Nour Nizar Adib Shehabi was killed by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem on May 16. (Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP)

Ramallah, May 16, 2024—Israeli forces killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy in East Jerusalem then confiscated his body early this morning. 

Nour Nizar Adib Shehabi, 17, was shot and killed by Israeli paramilitary border police around 3:05 a.m. this morning near Herod’s Gate on Salahaddin street in East Jerusalem, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Israeli forces alleged that Nour attempted to carry out a stabbing attack before they shot and killed him. After shooting Nour, Israeli authorities confiscated his body and transported it to an unknown location in an Israeli ambulance.

“Nour grew up in a hyper militarized environment where Israeli soldiers routinely arrest, torture, and kill children and act with explicit contempt for Palestinian life,” 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.”

DCIP is not able to confirm the number or location of bullet wounds suffered by Nour, as Israeli authorities have withheld his body.

Israeli forces searched Nour’s family’s home in the Al-Sawana neighborhood of East Jerusalem and arrested his parents after they killed him, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

Israeli forces and settlers have killed 41 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank in 2024, including two United States citizens, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 

122 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 have withheld the bodies of at least 36 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 31 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.

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.

News | Fatalities and Injuries
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