Ramallah, December 26, 2023—Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy this morning during a military incursion into a Palestinian refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank.
Ahmad Mohammad Yousef Yaghi, 17, was shot and killed by Israeli forces around 8:10 a.m. on December 26 during a military incursion into Al-Fawwar refugee camp, located south of the Palestinian city of Hebron, in the southern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Ahmad sustained a gunshot wound to his upper body and quickly lost all vital signs. He was transported in a private car to Abu Al-Hassan Al-Qasim Hospital in Yatta where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
“Israeli forces are shouting to the world through their actions that Palestinian children are undoubtedly targets,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “The international communities’ complete failure to act in any meaningful way to protect Palestinian children does nothing more than empower Israeli forces to increasingly target Palestinian children across the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Israeli forces entered Al-Fawwar refugee camp after midnight and snipers deployed on rooftops through the camp. Around 7:20 a.m., Israeli infantry forces deployed in the main street of the camp near the entrance located on Route 60, a main north-south roadway in the occupied West Bank. Confrontations ensued between Israeli forces and Palestinian residents, with Israeli forces firing live ammunition, stun grenades, and tear gas canisters. One other Palestinian youth was killed and at least two others were injured with live ammunition, according to information collected by DCIP.
77 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.
So far this year, Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 117 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers shot and killed 100 Palestinian children with live ammunition, 12 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.