Israeli forces shoot, kill 15-year-old Palestinian boy in Nour Shams refugee camp

Jul 02, 2024
15-year-old Mohammad Sarhan Ali Omar Sarhan was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper in the northern occupied West Bank yesterday. (Photo: Courtesy of the Sarhan family)

Ramallah, July 2, 2024—Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in Nour Shams refugee camp yesterday. 

Mohammad Sarhan Ali Omar Sarhan, 15, was shot and killed around 11:40 a.m. on Monday, July 1 in Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarem in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Mohammad, who was unarmed, was standing on a side street near Al-Quds Open University street where Israeli forces were withdrawing from a military incursion into Nour Shams refugee camp. An Israeli sniper inside a heavily armored military vehicle shot Mohammad from a distance of 120 to 150 meters (393 to 492 feet), striking him in the head. 

“Mohammad grew up in a hyper militarized environment where Israeli soldiers regularly enter Palestinian communities to kill and arrest Palestinians, including children,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli forces routinely shoot to kill in situations not justified by international law.”

Mohammad was transported by Palestinian residents to the Thabet Thabet Governmental Hospital in Tulkarem, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Around 4 a.m. on July 1, Israeli military forces, accompanied by bulldozers, entered Nour Shams refugee camp and engaged in clashes and confrontations with Palesinians. Israeli forces destroyed and bulldozed civilian infrastructure in the camp, severely damaging several neighborhoods. 

Around 11:30 a.m., Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers began withdrawing, prompting the camp residents to emerge and assess the extensive damage inflicted by the Israeli forces. After around half an hour, at 12 p.m. the Israeli forces stormed Tulkarem city and refugee camp. 

Israeli military vehicles were stationed at the entrance to the Tulkarem camp with snipers and they withdrew around 3:30 p.m. killing two Palestinians, including Mohammad and a Palestinian woman, who was killed by an Israeli drone-fired missile that struck her home in Tulkarem refugee camp. Israeli forces injured at least four Palestinians during the incursion.

Israeli forces and settlers have killed 55 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank in 2024, including two United States citizens, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Nine of the Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank were from the Tulkarem governorate. 

136 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.

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.

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