Ramallah, November 24, 2023—Israeli forces shot and killed a 10-year-old Palestinian boy in the northern occupied West Bank yesterday.
Mohammad Ibrahim Fahed Bahloul, 10, was shot in the chest by an Israeli soldier around 6:30 p.m. on November 23 in the Palestinian town of Beita, located south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Mohammad sustained a gunshot wound to the chest during an Israeli military incursion as Israeli forces began to withdraw from Beita. He was alert and conscious and transported by car to a nearby health center where it was clear he was seriously injured. An ambulance brought him to Al-Najah Medical Hospital in Nablus where he died around 8 p.m.
“Palestinian children continue to bear the brunt of the Israeli military’s shoot-to-kill policy,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli forces roam the occupied West Bank knowing they can kill any Palestinian with complete impunity, including children like 10-year-old Mohammad.”
Israeli forces entered Beita around 6 p.m. on Thursday searching homes in the western part of the town. Palestinian residents confronted Israeli forces as they withdrew toward the Odla Junction, chasing and throwing stones at two military jeeps and a personnel carrier.
Mohammad was sitting behind a building under construction off the main road as the Israeli military vehicles passed by and traveled about 200 meters (656 feet) down the street. He stood up to walk toward the street thinking the military operation had ended. Then, an Israeli military vehicle stopped nearby and an Israeli soldier opened fire from inside the vehicle. Everyone ran, including Mohammad, and he realized he was injured.
56 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.
So far this year, Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 96 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 82 Palestinian children with live ammunition, nine 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.
At least 211 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
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.