Ramallah, May 15, 2020—Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy during a military raid early Wednesday morning in a refugee camp near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
Zaid Fadil Mohammad Qaisiya, 17, sustained a gunshot wound to the head around 6 a.m. while he stood with relatives on the rooftop of a four-story building in Al-Fawwar refugee camp, according to information collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Zaid was standing on the rooftop watching clashes when he was shot dead with live ammunition. Neighbors evacuated Zaid in a private car to Abu Al-Hasan Al-Qasem Hospital in Yatta where he was pronounced dead.
Israeli forces entered Al-Fawwar camp around 5:20 a.m. on May 13 to carry out an arrest operation. Around 20 Israeli soldiers entered the camp undercover using a vehicle with Palestinian license plates, according to eyewitnesses interviewed by DCIP. Israeli forces injured at least four Palestinians with live ammunition during the military raid. A 16-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound to his thigh breaking his leg, according to information gathered by DCIP.
“Israeli forces routinely shoot Palestinian children who pose no imminent threat with live ammunition,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP. “The initial evidence suggests this was an intentional and unlawful killing amounting to a war crime.”
Zaid Fadl Mohammad Qaisiya is the fourth child to be killed by Israeli forces in 2020. In March, Israeli forces also shot dead 15-year-old Mohammad Abed Al-Rahim Hamayel near Nablus, also during the early hours of the morning. On February 5, Israeli forces shot dead 16-year-old Mohammad Suleiman Al-Haddad 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.
Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present.
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 2,116 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, according to documentation collected by DCIP.