Ramallah, June 7, 2017—Nouf Uqab Abd al-Jabar Infiaat, 14, died June 2, one day after Israeli forces shot and left her bleeding on the ground after she reportedly stabbed an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in the northern West Bank.
Around 11 a.m. on June 1, Nouf was shot six times in the neck, hand, and thigh after she reportedly stabbed and lightly injured a soldier at a checkpoint located between the girl’s hometown of Ya’bad and the neighboring Israeli settlement of Meve Dotan, west of Jenin. Local news outlets reported that Nouf was left bleeding on the pavement for nearly an hour before an ambulance arrived.
“In cases where Israeli forces have used intentional lethal force against a Palestinian child, medical aid must be provided as swiftly as possible," said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at Defense for Children International - Palestine. “We are deeply concerned by video footage from this incident that suggests a significant delay in urgent medical care for the injured child."
Video evidence published by local media shows armed Israeli soldiers and at least one armed man identified by Al Jazeera English as an Israeli settler standing around Nouf while she was prone and visibly injured, calling her “whore” and telling her she deserved to die.
Israeli paramedics who arrived at the scene evacuated and treated an injured 20-year-old Israeli who was in a “light condition” but made no mention of whether paramedics provided medical care to Nouf, only tweeting “attacker neutralized.”
The Israeli army said forces “shot towards the assailant” and confirmed one soldier had been stabbed.
Nouf’s father, Abdel-Jabbar Infiaat, learned his daughter had been involved in an incident through online reports before Israeli intelligence officers summoned him for questioning. Infiaat told DCIP that his daughter was transported to Hillel Yaffeh Medical Center in Israel, gravely injured, on June 1. Her death was confirmed the next morning.
Nouf was the ninth Palestinian child to be killed by Israeli forces this year according to DCIP documentation, four of whom committed or were suspected of committing attacks.
International law requires that intentional lethal force be used as a last resort and only in circumstances where an immediate and serious threat to life or of serious injury is present. Individuals who allegedly carry out a criminal act should be afforded due process of law.
In situations where law enforcement officials cause injury through the use of force, international law stipulates that the injured party should receive medical attention as swiftly as possible and forces should not prevent medical personnel from accessing an injured person.
Nouf’s death follows a month of high injuries for Palestinian children, many suffered during violent clashes between protestors and Israeli forces in the West Bank.
Maher Shaher Abd al-Moneim Haroun, a 16-year-old resident of Ramallah-area Al-Amari refugee camp, was shot in the back of the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet on May 22.
Maher told DCIP he was participating in a march in support of Palestinian hunger strikers when clashes erupted as the march neared Beit El checkpoint. Maher was hit as he ran away from Israeli forces who he estimates were between 30 and 40 meters (33-44 yards) behind him. He underwent surgery and is in stable condition.
In a statment on June 6 marking 50 years since Israel’s 1967 seizure of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the UN High Commissioner described Palestinian experience under Israeli occupation as “‘a half-century of deep suffering under an occupation imposed by military force’ and marked by ‘systematic’ violations of international law," Reuters reported.
Accountability for right abuses perpetrated by Israeli forces against Palestinians is rare, creating a culture of impunity which has become synonymous with Israel’s now five-decade-long military occupation.