Ramallah, March 17, 2022—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy with live ammunition in the northern occupied West Bank Tuesday morning.
Nader Haitham Fathi Rayyan, 16, was killed by Israeli forces around 6:20 a.m. on March 15 outside the entrance of Balata refugee camp located southeast of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation gathered by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Israeli forces targeted Nader and another boy as they passed nearby an Israeli military vehicle convoy on a motorcycle. Multiple bullets struck Nader, including at least two bullets that struck him in the back, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Nader was taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus where he was pronounced dead.
“Israeli forces have shot and killed four Palestinian boys in the occupied West Bank in the last month,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Systemic impunity has fostered an environment where Palestinian children are targeted by Israeli forces who know no bounds and shoot-to-kill in situations not justified by international law.”
Israeli forces had conducted an early morning raid that day on Balata refugee camp to conduct search and arrest operations. As Israeli forces withdrew from the camp in a convoy of at least seven armored military vehicles, Nader and another boy passed the military convoy on a motorcycle, according to information gathered by DCIP. They rode on the opposite side of the road from Israeli forces positioned across the roadway median.
Nader and the other boy were traveling to Nader’s brother’s cafe located nearby when they encountered the Israeli military convoy, and the Israeli vehicles sped in their direction, an eyewitness told DCIP. An earwitness told DCIP that two gunshots were fired around the same time, but DCIP has been unable to verify the timing or source of the two gunshots.
An eyewitness told DCIP that the motorcycle broke down forcing Nader and the other child to get off the motorcycle. They then attempted to flee the area on foot, according to information gathered by DCIP. An Israeli soldier fired at least three bullets at Nader and the other boy from inside his armored vehicle, according to video released by the Israeli military. Then five Israeli soldiers exited their military vehicle and pursued the boys on foot, according to surveillance footage taken from a nearby business. Israeli forces fired at least 10 shots at the boys before returning to their vehicles and leaving the area after about 10 minutes, according to documentation gathered by DCIP.
Area residents took Nader by car to Rafidia hospital in Nablus where he was pronounced dead, according to information gathered by DCIP.
Surveillance footage from a nearby business obtained 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.
Nader is the fourth Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2022, all within a 30-day period, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 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.