Israeli forces shoot, kill 15-year-old Palestinian boy in Qalqilya

Jun 21, 2024
15-year-old Naim Abdulelah Naim Samha was shot and killed by Israeli forces on June 20. (Photo: Courtesy of the Samha family)

Ramallah, June 21, 2024—Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in the occupied West Bank yesterday.

Naim Abdulelah Naim Samha, 15, was fatally shot in the chest by Israeli forces around 3:20 p.m. on June 20 in the city of Qalqilya in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Israeli forces shot Naim from a distance of 80 to 100 meters (262 to 324 feet) while he was standing near the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on the main street of Qalqilya while Israeli soldiers withdrew from a military incursion that began around 2 p.m. A Palestinian ambulance transported Naim to Darwish Nazzal Governmental Hospital where he was pronounced dead around 4:50 p.m.

“Palestinian children like Samha grow up in a hyper-militarized environment where Israeli forces regularly enter Palestinian communities to arrest, injure, and kill Palestinians, including children,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “The United States must stop sending weapons to the Israeli military that are used to kill Palestinian children without restraint, whether in Gaza or the West Bank.”

An Israeli settler entered Qalqilya in a private vehicle around 12 p.m. yesterday and was confronted by Palestinian residents, who beat him. The settler fled, and around two hours later, Israeli forces in three heavily armored military vehicles entered Qalqilya from the eastern entrance. Israeli soldiers raided shops in Qalqilya and confiscated surveillance footage from private security cameras. Palestinian youth confronted Israeli forces and threw stones toward them, while Israeli soldiers responded by firing tear gas canisters and live ammunition. Israeli forces withdrew around 3:20 p.m.

Israeli forces and settlers have killed 53 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank in 2024, including two United States citizens, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 

134 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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