Ramallah, November 29, 2022—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy last week in the northern occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces shot Ahmad Amjad Mohammad Shehadeh, 16, around 11:20 p.m. on November 22 on Amman Street, east of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Ahmad was near an armed Palestinian man during confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians when an Israeli sniper shot Ahmad in the chest, striking his heart. Ahmad crawled a few feet before losing consciousness. Several Palestinians carried Ahmad to a nearby ambulance while Israeli forces continued firing live ammunition, and the ambulance brought Ahmad to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where he was pronounced dead around 11:50 p.m.
“Palestinian children live in a hyper-militarized context where the Israeli military's nighttime incursions into Palestinian communities to intimidate Palestinian civilians, and in this case, protect Israeli settlers, is the norm,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “During these incursions, Israeli forces routinely resort to intentional lethal force in situations not justified under international law and make no effort to impartially investigate or ensure that Israeli soldiers act in accordance with international standards.”
About one hour before Ahmad was shot and killed, Israeli military vehicles, including a military bulldozer, entered the eastern area of Nablus and closed the area around Qabr Yousuf (Joseph’s Tomb) in order to facilitate the visit of a group of Israeli settlers to the tomb.
Qabr Yousuf is a religious shrine located in Nablus in a section of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that is under partial control by the Palestinian Authority. The tomb holds importance to Muslims, Jews, and Christians.
Israeli forces have intensified arrest operations and incursions into Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank in recent months, leading to an increase in the number of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the Israeli military launched its Operation “Break the Wave” on March 31, 2022.
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.
51 Palestinian children have been killed in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP, including 34 Palestinian children shot and killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the occupied West Bank. DCIP documented the killing of 17 Palestinian children between August 5–7 after Israeli forces launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip. DCIP continues to investigate several incidents.
2021 was the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014. Israeli forces and armed civilians killed 78 Palestinian children, according to evidence collected by DCIP.