Ramallah, July 24, 2021—Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy yesterday in the central occupied West Bank.
Mohammad Munir Mohammad Tamimi, 17, was struck with live ammunition in his back around 5:30 p.m. yesterday in the village of Nabi Saleh located northwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. The bullet entered his back and exited out through his abdomen, tearing a large hole and exposing his intestines, according to information collected by Defense for Children International – Palestine. Mohammad was taken in a private car to a hospital in Salfit where he underwent four hours of surgery. He was stabilized and moved to the intensive care unit, but later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead around midnight.
Israeli forces entered Nabi Saleh around 5 p.m. on July 23 from the eastern area of the village and proceeded through town. As they encountered Palestinian residents, confrontations occurred with Israeli forces firing tear gas, stun grenades, and live ammunition at Palestinian youth throwing stones. An Israeli soldier inside a military vehicle shot Mohammad in the back as he was standing a maximum of three meters (10 feet) away from where the Israeli forces were deployed, according to information collected by DCIP.
“Israeli forces routinely unlawfully kill Palestinian children with impunity, resorting to intentional lethal force in circumstances not justified by international law,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Excessive use of force is the norm, and systemic impunity ensures that Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation can be killed at any moment with no recourse or accountability.”
Mohammad tried to move inside a nearby house after he was shot but collapsed on the stairs as Israeli forces looked on. Palestinian residents threw stones at the military vehicle until it left the area and they were able to reach Mohammad. Due to an Israeli military checkpoint blocking the road leading to Ramallah, Mohammad was taken by private car to a government-run hospital in Salfit.
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.
Mohammad is the tenth Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of 2021. In June, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian teens from the occupied West Bank village of Beita located southeast of Nablus. Israeli forces shot and killed 15-year-old Ahmad Bani-Shamsa in the head with live ammunition around 5:30 p.m. on June 16 in Beita, DCIP reported. Ahmad did not present any threat to Israeli forces at the time he was shot. On June 11, Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Mohammad Hamayel in the chest with live ammunition around 4:30 p.m. during a protest, DCIP reported.
Palestinian residents of Nabi Saleh gained international attention for weekly protests that began in 2009 after Israeli settlers from Halamish, an illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlement nearby, took control of a nearby water spring. The spring is situated on privately-owned land belonging to Palestinian residents of Nabi Saleh, who are now prevented from working the surrounding land by the Israeli settlers and the Israeli military.
Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law. Israel’s policy of settling its civilians in occupied territory is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.