Ramallah, July 3, 2023—Israeli forces killed at least two Palestinian children today during an ongoing ground and aerial military offensive in Jenin.
Nouruddin Husam Yousef Marshoud, 15, and 17-year-old Majdi Younis Saud Ararawi were killed by Israeli forces around 11:30 a.m. on July 3 in Jenin refugee camp, according to initial information collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Nouruddin sustained a gunshot wound to the head while Majdi sustained a gunshot wound to the chest. DCIP continues to investigate these killings as the Israeli military assault is ongoing.
Israeli forces launched a major military operation around 1:30 a.m in the Palestinian city of Jenin, located in the northern occupied West Bank. Around 1,200 Israeli ground forces deployed in and around the city, carrying out attacks against civilian infrastructure in densely populated residential areas, including Jenin refugee camp, according to information collected by DCIP. Several U.S.-sourced Apache attack helicopters and warplanes reportedly conducted airstrikes. Israeli forces closed off all of the exits from Jenin refugee camp and continue to prevent ambulances from reaching injured Palestinians.
“Initial reports suggest Israeli forces are conducting indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks in Jenin refugee camp,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli forces seemingly know no bounds as they conduct a full-scale assault in densely populated civilian areas and essentially besiege Jenin refugee camp. Karim Khan, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, must at a minimum issue a preventative statement in an effort to deter ongoing Israeli war crimes.”
During the Israeli military operation in Jenin refugee camp, Israeli forces destroyed many Palestinian homes by blowing up their walls. In addition, Palestinian civilian infrastructure including roads, several mosques, the Jenin Sport Club, and the Jenin Freedom Theatre were bombed. Israeli forces detained many Palestinian children, whose cases DCIP is following closely. Israeli forces also shut off electricity, water, and telecommunications access to Palestinians living in Jenin refugee camp.
This large-scale aerial and ground offensive by Israeli forces follows increasing military incursions into Jenin and Jenin refugee camp over the past several months. Nine Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces in the Jenin governorate in 2023, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
About 14,000 Palestinians live in Jenin refugee camp, according to UNRWA. The camp sits on 0.42 square kilometers, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the occupied West Bank.
Eight Palestinians have been confirmed killed by Israeli forces in Jenin today, including Nouruddin and Majdi, and at least 53 are wounded, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
33 Palestinian children have been killed in 2023, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces have shot and killed at least 25 Palestinian children and killed one Palestinian child with a targeted drone strike in the occupied West Bank. Six Palestinian children in Gaza were killed in the May 2023 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, and a 10-year-old Palestinian child in Gaza succumbed to head wounds he sustained during the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip in August 2022.
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.
53 Palestinian children were killed in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP, including 36 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.