Ramallah, March 10, 2023—Israeli forces shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy in the northern occupied West Bank today.
Amir Mamoun Mohammad Odeh, 14, was shot and killed by Israeli forces around 4 p.m. on March 10 near the entrance to the Palestinian city of Qalqilya in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Amir was participating in a demonstration alongside many Palestinian residents protesting the recent Israeli military incursion into Jenin, where Israeli forces killed several Palestinians. An Israeli soldier shot Amir in the chest below his left armpit from a distance of more than 100 meters (328 feet). He was transferred to Qalqilya Government Hospital and doctors began operating on him immediately, but he was pronounced dead soon after.
“Systemic impunity creates an ultra permissive context where Israeli forces know no bounds and routinely shoot to kill Palestinian children in circumstances where there is no imminent threat to life,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Unlawful killings of Palestinian children have become the norm as Israeli forces become increasingly empowered to use intentional lethal force in situations that are not justified. In short, these are war crimes with no consequence.”
During the confrontations between Palestinians residents and Israeli forces, Israeli soldiers fired live bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas canisters into the crowd, according to information collected by DCIP.
The bullet that struck Amir settled in his chest, according to information collected by DCIP.
The Palestinian city of Qalqilya is surrounded on three sides by Israel's separation barrier, an eight-meter high concrete wall that isolates Qalqilya's residents and allows Israeli forces full control over access in and out of the city. In 2002, Israeli authorities authorized construction of the separation barrier. However, the vast majority of the barrier's route is located within the occupied West Bank to envelope illegal Israeli settlements and separate them from Palestinian villages, towns, and cities.
In a 2004 Advisory Opinion, the International Court of Justice determined that the barrier route and associated gate and permit regime violate international law and should be dismantled.
Amir is the 16th Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2023, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces have shot and killed 15 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, and a 10-year-old Palestinian child in Gaza succumbed to head wounds he sustained during the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip in August 2022.
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.
53 Palestinian children were killed in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP, including 36 Palestinian children shot and killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the occupied West Bank. DCIP documented the killing of 17 Palestinian children between August 5–7 after Israeli forces launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip.