Ramallah, February 14, 2022—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy with live ammunition last night in the northern occupied West Bank.
An Israeli sniper shot Mohammad Akram Ali Taher Abu Salah, 16, in the eye with live ammunition around 10 p.m. 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 Defense for Children International - Palestine. Mohammad was transported in a private car to Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin and was pronounced dead around 1 a.m. on February 14.
“Israeli forces continue to kill Palestinian children with impunity,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Systemic impunity means Israeli forces can kill Palestinian children without fear of any consequences.”
Israeli forces entered the village of Silat Al-Harithiya last night around 10 p.m. to demolish the home of a Palestinian prisoner, a policy that amounts to collective punishment. Israeli snipers were located at the eastern entrance to the village, where villagers gathered to protest the raid, according to documentation collected by DCIP. After Israeli forces entered the village, an armed Palestinian man shot at the Israeli military vehicles and managed to flee, according to information gathered by DCIP. Israeli forces responded with heavy shooting at those present in the area.
A short while later, after confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters had abated, Mohammad and his 17-year-old cousin arrived at the scene, when Israeli forces suddenly and without warning began firing live ammunition at protesters who began to flee, an eyewitness told DCIP. An Israeli sniper approximately 250 meters (820 feet) away shot Mohammad in the eye while he and his cousin were running away from the area, according to DCIP’s documentation. Mohammad’s cousin was shot in the left hand as he approached Mohammad to give him aid, according to information gathered by DCIP. Mohammad was not participating in any clashes at the time he was shot, an eyewitness told DCIP.
Bystanders carried Mohammad to a private car that transferred him to Ibn Sina hospital in the city of Jenin. Mohammad was pronounced dead around 1 a.m. on February 14.
Mohammad is the first Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2022, 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.
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.
Israeli authorities have implemented a punitive home demolition policy against Palestinians alleged to have committed or attempted an attack against Israeli civilians or soldiers, destroying more than 2,000 Palestinian homes since 1967. While Israeli authorities ceased punitive home demolitions in 2005, the policy was renewed in mid-2014, according to B’Tselem. Punitive home demolitions against Palestinians amount to collective punishment in violation of international law.