Ramallah, January 26, 2023—Israeli forces killed two Palestinian boys during an Israeli military incursion into Jenin refugee camp today.
Abdullah Marwan Juma’a Mousa, 17, and Wasim Amjad Aref Abu Jaes, 16, were killed by Israeli forces in the morning of January 26 in Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Israeli forces entered Jenin refugee camp around 7 a.m. to carry out arrest operations, and when Palestinian residents confronted Israeli forces, additional Israeli forces entered the camp.
During the Israeli military incursion, Israeli forces killed at least nine Palestinians, including Abdullah and Wasim, and wounded more than 20, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
“Palestinian children live in a hyper-militarized context where the Israeli military's nighttime and early morning incursions into Palestinian communities to arrest and intimidate Palestinian civilians is the norm,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “In 2023, there has been no respite from Israeli forces’ unlawful killing of Palestinian children as Israeli forces continue to shoot to kill Palestinian children during nighttime incursions into Palestinian communities.”
Abdullah was standing with a friend in an alley in the Al-Hawashin neighborhood in Jenin refugee camp around 9 a.m., according to documentation collected by DCIP. When Abdullah went toward the main street of the neighborhood, his friend yelled at him to come back. As Abdullah turned around to return to the alley, an Israeli sniper stationed in the third-story window of a nearby building shot Abdullah in the chest with live ammunition. The Israeli sniper fired an additional three bullets near Abdullah as he fell to the ground. His friend asked nearby Palestinian residents to call an ambulance, but the ambulance took more than 10 minutes to arrive as Israeli forces prevented medical staff and ambulances from reaching injured Palestinians, including Abdullah. An ambulance transferred Abdullah to Jenin Government Hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 9:30 a.m.
Wasim was with a group of Palestinian youth on the main street of Al-Hawashin neighborhood in Jenin refugee camp around 8:30 a.m., according to documentation collected by DCIP. Wasim headed toward a group of Israeli military vehicles located at the eastern entrance to the street when Israeli forces fired five bullets from a distance of about 200 meters (656 feet) toward the Palestinian youth, which made most of them run away. Immediately after that, an Israeli military vehicle approached Wasim and ran him over. An ambulance transferred Wasim to Jenin Government Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Wasim likely sustained a gunshot wound from an Israeli sniper stationed in a nearby house, according to documentation collected by DCIP. However, since Wasim was run over by the Israeli military vehicle and suffered severe head lacerations, medical staff could not definitively ascertain whether or not bullets settled in his head, according to the hospital director.
Israeli forces have killed six Palestinian children so far this year, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Amr Khaled Lutfi Al-Khmour, 14, was shot and killed by Israeli forces on January 16 near the entrance to Dheisheh refugee camp. Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Amer Ghazi Mahmoud Zeitoun in Balata refugee camp in the early morning of January 5. Israeli forces shot and killed 15-year-old Adam Issam Shaker Ayyad on January 3 in Dheisheh refugee camp. On January 1, an Israeli sniper shot 17-year-old Fuad Mahmoud Ahmad Abed in Kafr Dan, west of Jenin, and he was pronounced dead early in the morning on January 2.
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.
53 Palestinian children were killed in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP, including 36 Palestinian children shot and killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the occupied West Bank. DCIP documented the killing of 17 Palestinian children between August 5–7 after Israeli forces launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip.