Ramallah, March 12, 2020—Israeli forces shot dead a 15-year-old Palestinian teen on Wednesday morning in Beita, a village near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
Mohammad Abed Al-Rahim Hamayel, 15, was struck in the head with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces during early morning hours in the village of Beita south of Nablus. He was transferred by ambulance to Rafidia hospital in Nablus where he was taken to the operating room and later pronounced dead, according to information collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine.
Israeli forces, including around 40 military vehicles and two bulldozers, deployed near the Jabal al-Arma area east of Beita around 5:00 am, clashing with villagers for around two hours. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets at demonstrators from less than 130 feet (40 meters) away, according to information collected by DCIP.
Israeli forces shot dead 15-year-old Mohammad Abed Al-Rahim Hamayel on Wednesday morning in Beita, a village near the West Bank city of Nablus.— Defense for Children (@DCIPalestine) March 12, 2020
He was struck in the head with live ammunition and later pronounced dead at Rafidia hospital in Nablus. https://t.co/1Zqfa2wZ3c pic.twitter.com/zLc1jB4kWu
“Israeli forces increasingly resort to the use of excessive force, recklessly firing live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets at civilians, including children,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP. “Excessive force and misuse of crowd-control weapons have once again proved to be the norm for Israeli forces when attempting to quash protests.”
The clashes occurred as Israeli forces accompanied a group of Israeli settlers to Jabal al-Arma, according to Ha’aretz. At least 17 Palestinians were injured and treated at Rafidia hospital, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Most sustained injuries from rubber-coated metal bullets, though one person was reportedly injured in the leg with live ammunition, according to information collected by DCIP. Israeli forces injured over 100 Palestinians during a similar incident at Jabal al-Arma on February 28, 2020, according to Ha’aretz.
Mohammad Abed Al-Rahim Hamayel is the second Palestinian child shot dead by Israeli forces since the start of 2020. Previously, Israeli forces shot dead 16-year-old Mohammad Suleiman Al-Haddad with live ammunition during clashes on February 5 in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. He was shot around 4:20 pm with live ammunition during clashes near an Israeli checkpoint in the Bab al-Zawya area of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, according to information collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine.
In 2019, DCIP independently verified the deaths of 28 Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli forces or settlers across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Children in the Gaza Strip accounted for 23 of these fatalities.
Israeli forces are rarely held accountable for grave violations against Palestinian children, including unlawful killings and the excessive use of force. Since 2000, Israeli forces or settlers have killed at least 2,115 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present.