Ramallah, October 7, 2022—Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian boys in the occupied West Bank today.
Mahdi Mohammad Abdulmuti Ladadwa, 17, was shot in the waist by Israeli forces around 5:30 p.m. on October 7 in the Al-Harasha neighborhood of Al-Mazra Al-Gharbieh, a village located north of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine.
Israeli settlers accompanied by Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian residents in the village earlier that day around around 4 p.m. When Palestinian youth confronted the Israeli settlers, Israeli forces responded with live fire, shooting Mahdi in the waist. A Palestinian ambulance transferred Mahdi to Al-Istishari Hospital in Ramallah, where he was admitted to the operating room in critical condition. He was later pronounced dead around 7:15 p.m.
Israeli forces shot 14-year-old Adel Ibrahim Adel Daud in the head with live ammunition around 3 p.m. on October 7 near the Israeli separation barrier, south of Qalqilya in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Adel succumbed to his wounds and was pronounced dead around 7 p.m.
“Israeli authorities not only persistently fail to investigate Israeli settler violence against Palestinians, including children, but they actively support settler attacks,” Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Systemic impunity combined with military protection from the state has undoubtedly led to Israeli settlers becoming more brazen in their attacks.”
Israeli settlers commit violence against Palestinians and their property daily throughout the occupied West Bank. Between January 1 and September 26, 2022, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) documented 474 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property.
Israel has an obligation as the “Occupying Power” under international humanitarian law to protect the Palestinian population living under Israeli military occupation. However, DCIP documentation shows that Israeli forces frequently fail to intervene to stop or prevent Israeli settler attacks. Often, Israeli forces protect the Israeli settlers as they carry out attacks and acts of violence against Palestinians and their property.
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.
42 Palestinian children have been killed in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP, including 25 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.