Ramallah, April 14, 2022—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy near Bethlehem in the central occupied West Bank yesterday.
Qusai Fuad Mohammad Hamamra, 16, was shot by Israeli forces around 8:45 p.m. on April 13, as Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian youth near the entrance to Husan, a village west of Bethlehem in the central occupied West Bank, according to information collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Qusai sustained multiple gunshot wounds from a distance of around 20 meters (65 feet). At least one bullet struck him in the head, according to documentation gathered by DCIP.
“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. “If a child is suspected of committing a criminal act, they should be apprehended in accordance with international standards and afforded due process of law.”
Israeli forces prevented Palestinian paramedics from treating Qusai. After 30 minutes, an Israeli military vehicle arrived at the scene, and Israeli forces covered Qusai’s body with a black plastic sheet and took his body in the military vehicle, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli authorities returned his body to his family at around 2 a.m. on April 14 via the Al-Nashash checkpoint in Bethlehem. His body was transferred to Al-Hussein hospital in Beit Jala before a burial in Husan’s cemetery later in the day.
The Israeli military alleged that Qusai had thrown a Molotov cocktail before he was shot, according to Haaretz.
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.
Qusai is the seventh Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
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 evidence collected by DCIP.