Ramallah, June 19, 2023—Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian boy during an Israeli military incursion into Jenin refugee camp today.
Ahmad Yousef Ahmad Saqer, 14, was shot in the abdomen by Israeli forces around 8 a.m. on June 19 in the Al-Hadaf neighborhood located west of Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Ahmad was standing with a group of Palestinian youth holding stones when an Israeli soldier inside an armored Israeli military vehicle around 200 meters (650 feet) away opened fire, striking him in the abdomen. A Palestinian ambulance transferred Ahmad to Jenin Government Hospital, where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
“Palestinian children live in a hyper-militarized context where the Israeli military's incursions into Palestinian communities to arrest and intimidate Palestinian civilians is the norm,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “This Israeli military incursion into Jenin happened in broad daylight—it is clear that Israeli forces feel confident in their ability to shoot and kill Palestinians, including children, with complete impunity.”
Israeli forces entered Jenin refugee camp Monday morning to conduct arrest operations, where Palestinian residents confronted Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces fired live ammunition and stun grenades and a U.S.-sourced Israeli Apache helicopter fired missiles at armed Palestinians on the ground, according to news media reports.
Ahmad was holding some stones and standing with a group of young Palestinians when Israeli forces opened fire with live ammunition killing Ahmad and injuring several others. Other Palestinians in the group were allegedly throwing homemade explosive devices, according to information collected by DCIP.
During the Israeli military incursion into Jenin refugee camp, Israeli forces killed at least five Palestinians, including Ahmad, and injured at least 91, according to Al Jazeera. The military incursion is the first time since the Second Intifada in 2000 that the Israeli military has used attack helicopters in the occupied West Bank, according to the BBC.
28 Palestinian children have been killed in 2023, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces have shot and killed 21 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank. Six Palestinian children in Gaza were killed in the May 2023 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, 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.