Ramallah, January 5, 2024—Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy in the occupied West Bank early this morning.
Usaid Tareq Anis Rimawi, 17, was shot in the waist by Israeli forces around 2 a.m. on January 5 while he was attempting to help two young Palestinian men who were shot by Israeli forces during a military incursion into the Palestinian village of Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. An Israeli soldier inside a heavily armored military vehicle shot Usaid from a distance of about 200 meters (656 feet) away. A private car brought Usaid and the two injured Palestinian men to Salfit Governmental Hospital. Doctors attempted to resuscitate Usaid, but pronounced him dead after about half an hour.
“Israeli forces and settlers enjoy near complete impunity, empowering them to act without any bounds,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “The lack of any political will to restrain or end Israel’s military offensive in Gaza makes the international community complicit in genocide and gives a greenlight to escalating violations in the West Bank, too.”
Israeli forces entered Beit Rima just after midnight on January 5 and injured at least four Palestinians during the incursion. Israeli forces remained in Beit Rima until about 3 a.m. and did not carry out any arrests.
Usaid is the first Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2024, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
82 Palestinian children have been killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according to documentation collected by DCIP, when the Israeli military began a full-scale military offensive on the Gaza Strip dubbed Operation Iron Swords.
In 2023, Israeli forces and settlers killed at least 121 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 102 Palestinian children with live ammunition, 14 Palestinian children were killed in drone strikes, four Palestinian children were killed by missiles fired from a U.S.-sourced Apache attack helicopter, and one child was killed in an Israeli warplane airstrike.
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.