Ramallah, May 28, 2022—Israeli forces shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy in the southern occupied West Bank yesterday.
Zaid Mohammad Said Ghunaim was shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces around 8 p.m. on May 27 in the occupied West Bank town of Al-Khader, located southwest Bethlehem, according to information collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Israeli forces fired on Zaid from a distance of 15–20 meters (20–65 feet) as he fled from the area where Israeli forces were deployed. He sustained a gunshot wound to his right shoulder. Zaid was taken in a private car to the Al-Yamama Hospital in Al-Khader and then to Al-Hussein Hospital in Beit Jala.
“Israeli forces’ impunity is on full display as Palestinian children continue to be targets and the international community has nothing to offer other than empty words,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Palestinian children will continue to be targeted. They will continue to be unlawfully killed with impunity without actual justice and accountability.”
At the time Zaid was shot dead, at least three Israeli soldiers were deployed on foot and the area was quiet and calm, according to an eyewitness statement. Israeli forces fired on Zaid striking him in the shoulder. The bullet ruptured his lung and caused severe internal bleeding, according to information collected by DCIP.
The eyewitness told DCIP that he heard a gunshot and rushed outside immediately after Israeli forces passed his home. They found Zaid was shot and that the Israeli soldiers had tried to give him first aid before some Palestinian bystanders took him in a private car to hospital.
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.
Zaid is the 13th Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2022 and the fifth killed this month, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
In May, Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Ghaith Mohammad Rafiq Ziad Yamin around 1:30 a.m. on May 25 near Qabr Yusuf (Jacob’s Tomb) east of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. Amjad Walid Hussein Fayed, 16, was shot with live ammunition in the chest by Israeli forces around 2:30 a.m. on May 21 in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. Israeli forces shot and killed Thaer Khalil Mohammad Maslat, 16, with live ammunition on May 11 in the occupied West Bank city of Al-Bireh shortly after he left school. On May 8, Israeli forces shot and killed 17-year-old Motasem Mohammad Taleb Atallah inside the Jewish-only Tekoa settlement located near Bethlehem after he entered the settlement possessing a knife.
Shawkat Kamal Shawkat Abed, 17, succumbed to his injuries on April 15 after Israeli forces shot him in the abdomen near Jenin. Israeli forces shot and killed Qusai Fuad Mohammad Hamamra, 16, in Husan, near Bethlehem on April 13. Mohammad Hussein Mohammad Qassim succumbed to his wounds on April 11, a day after Israeli forces shot him in Jenin. Israeli forces shot and killed Sanad Mohammad Khalil Abu Atiya on March 31 in Jenin as he approached a wounded man in an attempt to render aid. Nader Haitham Fathi Rayyan, 16, was killed by Israeli forces outside the entrance of Balata refugee camp located southeast of Nablus on March 15.
Israeli forces shot and killed Yamen Nafez Mahmoud Khanafseh in Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem on March 6. Israeli forces shot and killed 13-year-old Mohammad Rezq Shehadeh Salah on February 22 in Al-Khader, southwest of Bethlehem. An Israeli sniper shot and killed 16-year-old Mohammad Akram Ali Taher Abu Salah with live ammunition on February 13 while Israeli forces deployed in the village of Silat Al-Harithiya near Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
2021 was the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014. Israeli forces and armed civilians killed 78 Palestinian children, according to evidence collected by DCIP.