Ramallah, May 25, 2022—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy in the northern occupied West Bank yesterday.
Ghaith Mohammad Rafiq Ziad Yamin, 16, was shot with live ammunition in the head by Israeli forces around 1:30 a.m. on May 25 near Qabr Yusuf (Jacob’s Tomb) east of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, according to information collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Ghaith sustained a gunshot wound to the head while standing on the roof of a building near Qabr Yusuf. Israeli forces deployed in a nearby building fired at least four bullets from a third-floor window that was exactly opposite to Ghaith, according to an eyewitness. He was transferred to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus and was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.
“Israeli forces routinely unlawfully kill Palestinian children with impunity, using excessive force and unjustified intentional lethal force,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Systemic impunity means that unlawful and extrajudicial killings of Palestinian children are now the apparent norm as Israeli forces can kill Palestinian children without fear of any consequences.”
Around 10 p.m. on May 24, a large number of Israeli forces in dozens of military vehicles deployed on Amman street near Qabr Yusuf, located on the eastern outskirts of Nablus near the Balata refugee camp. Ghaith and other Palestinian youths confronted the Israeli forces, as Israeli forces fired live ammunition, tear gas, and stun grenades, according to information collected by DCIP.
Israeli settlers in buses then arrived around 11:20 p.m. while Ghaith and others were on the main street, around 100 meters away. After several hours, Ghaith and others relocated to a building rooftop as Israeli forces were deployed nearby on Amman street as Israeli settlers remained in the Qabr Yusuf, according to an eyewitness statement.
Israeli settlers regularly visit the Qabr Yusuf area, arriving in buses late at night protected by large numbers of heavily-armed Israeli forces that deploy before any Israeli settlers enter the area.
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.
Ghaith is the 12th Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
In May, 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.