Ramallah, January 23, 2024—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy in the northern occupied West Bank last night.
Yamen Mohammad Mustafa Lahlouh, 16, was shot in the abdomen by Israeli forces around 10:15 p.m. on January 22 in the Palestinian town of Arraba, southwest of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Yamen was allegedly throwing stones toward Israeli forces who had entered Arraba an hour before in two military vehicles when an Israeli sniper shot him in the stomach from a distance of about 20 meters (66 feet). A young Palestinian man approached Yamen to help after he fell to the ground, but Israeli forces fired toward him. Israeli forces then approached Yamen, checked his vital signs, and fired warning shots at a Palestinian ambulance crew trying to reach him. Israeli forces stayed with Yamen for about 10 minutes while he bled out on the ground and did not leave until they confirmed he was dead. An ambulance then brought Yamen to the Arraba emergency center where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival around 10:30 p.m.
“Israeli forces shot Yamen in the stomach then prevented paramedics from reaching him until they were confident he was dead,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “The impunity enjoyed by Israeli soldiers determined to kill Palestinian children is bought and paid for by the Biden administration which refuses to hold Israeli forces to account for carrying out genocide in Gaza.”
Two Israeli military vehicles arrived at the entrance to Naim Abdelhadi Street, which leads to the center of Arraba, around 9 p.m. on January 22. About 15 soldiers exited the vehicles and began patrolling the town and firing live ammunition toward Palestinian residents.
Yamen sustained a gunshot wound from a bullet that entered the right side of his lower abdomen and exited from his back, according to information collected by DCIP.
94 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.
Israeli forces and settlers have killed 13 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank in 2024, 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.