Ramallah, October 25, 2023—Israeli forces killed four Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank today.
Israeli forces shot and killed Ahmad Ghaleb Rebhi Mtair, 17, around 6:20 a.m. today in Qalandia refugee camp, south of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Around 1 a.m. today, three Palestinian children were killed by an Israeli drone-fired missile fired at a group of Palestinians, including children, near a cemetery west of Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. The three children killed in the missile strike are Eid Nabil Eid Merei, 15, Mohammad Qadri Jamal Masoud, 16, and Mohammad Anas Mahmoud Abu Qatna, 17.
“Israeli forces are killing Palestinian children in unprecedented numbers as the international community considers whether humanitarian aid should be delivered as bombs freely rein down or not,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “When confronted with widespread and systematic Israel attacks against an overwhelmingly youthful population in Gaza and the routine unlawful killing of Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, the international community has done nothing except perpetuate impunity.”
Israeli forces entered Qalandia refugee camp, south of Ramallah, to conduct arrest operations around 5:20 a.m. on October 25. As Israeli forces withdrew from the camp, young Palestinians threw stones at the heavily armored Israeli military vehicles, and Israeli forces responded by indiscriminately opening fire. 17-year-old Ahmad was standing on the roof of a nearby house and sustained gunshot wounds to the head and chest. He was transported to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, where he was pronounced dead around 7:30 a.m.
Earlier in the morning, around 1 a.m., Israeli forces entered several Palestinian houses to conduct arrest operations near Jenin refugee camp and Wadi Burqin in the northern occupied West Bank, leading to confrontations with armed Palestinians. An Israeli weaponized drone fired a missile at a group of Palestinians near the martyrs’ cemetery, west of Jenin refugee camp, which killed three Palestinian children and injured an additional 23 Palestinians. Israeli forces prevented ambulances from reaching injured Palestinians for about 20 minutes.
17-year-old Mohammad Anas Mahmoud Abu Qatna was pronounced dead on arrival at Jenin Governmental Hospital due to extensive shrapnel wounds and burns. Mohammad Qadri Jamal Masoud, 16, suffered extensive wounds on his back and was transferred to Ibn Sina Hospital, where he was pronounced dead after 40 minutes of resuscitation attempts. 15-year-old Eid Nabil Eid Merei sustained a skull fracture and an open ankle fracture and was pronounced dead around 12 p.m. today.
Israeli forces have escalated military operations throughout the occupied West Bank in recent weeks, carrying out increasing numbers of search and arrest operations.
Throughout the occupied West Bank, Palestinians have organized marches and demonstrations over the past week in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip bearing the brunt of Israeli land, sea, and air attacks after Palestinian armed groups fired rockets toward Israel and breached the Israeli perimeter fence surrounding Gaza early on October 7, launching attacks inside Israel. Israeli forces initiated a large-scale military operation dubbed Operation Iron Swords.
33 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 bombardment on the Gaza Strip dubbed Operation Iron Swords.
So far this year, Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 73 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 65 Palestinian children with live ammunition, four Palestinian children were killed in a drone strike, and four Palestinian children were killed by missiles fired from a U.S.-sourced Apache attack helicopter.
At least 95 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.