Ramallah, September 10, 2018—Israeli forces killed two Palestinians boys, aged 16 and 17, shooting them with live ammunition on September 7 from across the Gaza Strip perimeter fence.
Ahmad Misbah Abu Tyour, 16, died in hospital on Saturday morning, succumbing to a live ammunition injury sustained at the hands of Israeli forces the evening before near Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. Also in the Rafah-area near the perimeter fence on September 7, Israeli forces shot dead 17-year-old Bilal Mustafa Mohammad Khafajeh.
“Palestinian children are being routinely shot and killed in the Gaza Strip with impunity including during circumstances that suggest unlawful and wilful killings,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at Defense for Children International - Palestine. “International bodies must take steps to end this and uphold protections for Palestinian children.”
Around 6 p.m. on September 7, Ahmad was participating in “March of Return” protests near the perimeter fence in the southern Gaza Strip. Israeli forces shot him with live ammunition and the bullet struck his right foot, causing serious damage, according to preliminary reports.
Ahmad was rushed to the European hospital, where doctors ruled that the injury was so severe, it would require amputation. At approximately 8:00 a.m. the next morning, on September 8, Ahmad succumbed to his injury and was pronounced dead.
Video footage published on local media suggests that the child posed no threat when he was targeted with intentional lethal force. Live fire constitutes a lethal amount of force.
Israeli forces shot Bilal around 6 p.m. on September 7, in the context of "March of Return" east of Rafah. One of the Israeli soldiers stationed across the perimeter fence fired a bullet toward the boy, wounding his chest, according to early reports gathered by DCIP. Bilal was taken immediately to the European Hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Since the beginning of the year, Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 39 Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza. All but one of these children died as a result of Israeli forces’ actions. The parents of one further child who was shot by Israeli forces on April 29, Yousef Abu Jazar, are still waiting for official confirmation of their child’s death.
Of the 39 child fatalities, 27 children were killed in the context of “March of Return” protests near the Gaza strip perimeter fence since March 30. At least 33 of the 39 children, 85 percent, sustained fatal wounds from live ammunition or “less lethal” crowd control weapons.
Since 2014, DCIP documentation and analysis show that Israeli forces have increasingly targeted Palestinian children with intentional lethal force to quash protests. Under international law, lethal force such as live ammunition, may only be used as a last resort and when a direct threat to life or of serious injury exists.