Ramallah, December 13, 2023—Israeli forces killed a Palestinian boy during a military incursion into Jenin using a drone-fired missile yesterday.
17-year-old Thaer Shadi Fawaz Tabaji was struck by an Israeli drone-fired missile around 7 a.m. on December 12 in the Al-Sibat neighborhood of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to Defense for Children International - Palestine. The Israeli military entered Jenin and Jenin refugee camp around 3 a.m. on December 12, and at time of publication, the incursion is still ongoing. Thaer was standing near three armed Palestinians when he was killed in the drone strike. Thaer and the three Palestinian men were transported by ambulance to Jenin Governmental Hospital, where they were all declared dead on arrival.
“Israeli forces are now routinely using weaponized aerial drones to carry out attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “After years of Israeli forces increasingly unlawfully killing Palestinian children with impunity, we now see Israeli forces escalate tactics to carry out aerial attacks against children in a hypermilitarized environment where Palestinian children bear the brunt of Israeli aggression.”
Thaer suffered shrapnel wounds and burns across his entire body, according to information collected by DCIP.
During the Israeli military incursion into Jenin, Israeli forces deployed across the city and Jenin refugee camp, seizing Palestinian homes to use as military bases and stationing snipers on the roofs of buildings. Israeli forces besieged several hospitals in Jenin and impeded the movement of ambulances and paramedics.
Israeli military bulldozers destroyed civilian infrastructure in Jenin refugee camp and several neighborhoods throughout the city. Israeli forces also bombed at least one Palestinian home, completely destroying it.
A second Palestinian child died yesterday during the Israeli military incursion into Jenin, 13-year-old Ahmad Mohammad Asad Sammar. Ahmad fell ill at home in the nearby town of Al-Yamoun, and while his father tried to drive him to Jenin Governmental Hospital, the Israeli military incursion forced Ahmad’s father to take multiple detours.
When Ahmad and his father were about 500 meters (1640 feet) from the hospital, Israeli forces stopped the car and forced both of them to exit. Ahmad’s father carried him on foot to the hospital and arrived around 10:30 a.m., when doctors pronounced him dead.
70 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 110 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 95 Palestinian children with live ammunition, 10 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.