Ramallah, March 31, 2022—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old boy with live ammunition in the northern occupied West Bank this morning.
Sanad Mohammad Khalil Abu Atiya, 16, was shot and killed with live ammunition by Israeli forces around 8:15 a.m. on March 31 in Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. An Israeli soldier shot Sanad as he approached Yazeed al-Saadi, 22, moments after al-Saadi was shot in the back of the head. The bullet struck Sanad in the right side of his chest and exited out his back, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
“Israeli forces frequently use live ammunition in unjustified circumstances, ignoring their obligation under international law to only resort to intentional lethal force when a direct, mortal threat to life or of serious injury exists,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Systemic impunity has fostered an environment where Israeli forces know no bounds.”
Sanad was killed as Israeli forces were leaving the area after conducting a search and arrest operation in nearby Jenin refugee camp, Haaretz reported. Palestinian residents reportedly threw stones at the armored Israeli military vehicles as they withdrew from Jenin refugee camp towards Jenin’s Al-Zahra neighborhood, according to information gathered by DCIP.
An eyewitness reported that gunshots were fired from the refugee camp as the Israeli vehicles left the area. Palestinian residents who were throwing stones began to flee, as one of the armored Israeli military vehicles drove in reverse pursuing those who were fleeing, an eyewitness told DCIP.
An Israeli soldier exited the passenger side of the jeep, took a shooting position, and fired around 15 live ammunition rounds in quick succession, the eyewitness told DCIP. The soldier shot al-Saadi in the back of the head, and al-Saadi fell to the ground about two meters (six feet) from a car that Sanad and the eyewitness were hiding behind. Sanad was shot as he approached al-Saadi in an attempt to render aid, the eyewitness told DCIP.
Ambulances were able to reach Sanad a few minutes later, and he and al-Saadi were both transported to Ibn Sina hospital where they were pronounced dead, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
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.
Sanad is the fifth Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Nader Haitham Fathi Rayyan, 16, was killed by Israeli forces on March 15 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 evidence collected by DCIP.