Israeli forces shoot dead 15-year-old Palestinian boy near Ramallah

Mar 02, 2024

Israeli forces shot and killed Mohammad Murad Hassan Ghnaim, 15, early on March 2, 2024, in the central occupied West Bank. (Photo: Courtesy of the Ghnaim family.)

Ramallah, March 2, 2024—Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy early this morning in the central occupied West Bank.

Mohammad Murad Hassan Ghnaim, 15, was shot in the head by Israeli forces at around 12:30 a.m on March 2 during a military incursion into the Palestinian town of Kafr Ni’ma, located west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Mohammad, his brother, and a few other friends stood in front of a storefront awaiting the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Zahriya neighborhood. When news spread that Israeli forces had left the area, Mohammad and the others headed to their car to return home. At that moment, Israeli forces ambushed them, firing live ammunition from about 30 meters (98 feet) away, striking Mohammad in the head. Mohammad was transported to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah by a private vehicle and he was pronounced dead around 2 a.m.

“Israeli forces continue to escalate military operations in the occupied West Bank where the unlawful killing of Palestinian children is the norm,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “As Palestinian children are increasingly targets in the West Bank, Israeli forces enjoy complete impunity despite clear evidence of war crimes.”

Mohammad sustained a single gunshot wound to the head causing him to immediately fall to the ground and bleed with parts of his brain exposed. Mohammad’s brother attempted to drag him away from the scene, but noticed other Israeli forces approaching, so he moved away, fearing arrest. Israeli soldiers stood over Mohammad’s body and one soldier moved his head with their rifle to confirm he was dead before withdrawing from the scene, according to information collected by DCIP. 

104 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.

Israeli forces and settlers have killed 23 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank in 2024, including two United States citizens, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

In 2023, Israeli forces and settlers killed at least 121 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 103 Palestinian children with live ammunition, 13 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.

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.

News | Fatalities and Injuries
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