Two Palestinian children die by Israeli fire

While US President Donald Trump’s visit to the region dominated headlines, several Palestinian children were shot and injured by Israeli forces, one of them fatally, and another died of wounds sustained months earlier.

A 17-year-old Palestinian boy was critically injured after being shot by Israeli forces in the occupied Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

The Gaza-based health ministry told media that the youth, whose name had not yet been given at the time of publication, was hit in the stomach with live ammunition.

That same day, Tuqua Hammad, 17, was shot with live fire and wounded in the village of Silwad near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Hammad is reported to be the sister of a youth who was shot dead during an alleged car ramming attack in the village in late 2015.

Also on Tuesday, police shot and moderately wounded a 44-year-old Palestinian man from the occupied West Bank who had allegedly stabbed and lightly injured an officer in the Israeli city of Netanya.

Video from the scene shows the injured Palestinian man lying on the ground as Israeli police keep their weapons pointed at him and a crowd gathers around:

On Monday, a Palestinian boy, 15, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Israeli police claimed that Raed Ahmad Radaya, from al-Ubeidiya village near Bethlehem, had attempted to stab soldiers at the checkpoint. No Israeli forces were injured during the incident.

An Israeli police spokesperson told media that Radaya had approached the soldiers while holding a knife, and “after a short dispute, an Israeli soldier was able to open fire at the suspect who was neutralized and the knife in his possession was seized.”

The Palestine Red Crescent Society told the Ma’an News Agency, a Palestinian media outlet, that Israeli forces prevented its ambulances from reaching Radaya.

A photo of Radaya circulated on social media after his death:

That same day, another youth was reportedly shot in the leg with live fire as Palestinians protested along the Gaza-Israel boundary in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike.

Twenty Palestinians were shot and injured, one seriously, on Monday during confrontations that broke out after Israeli forces repressed demonstrations in support of prisoners on hunger strike.

A 7-year-old Palestinian boy was hospitalized after he was hit in the head with a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces towards children returning home from school in the town of al-Khader, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on Sunday.

On Saturday, a 15-year-old Palestinian girl died from injuries sustained when she was shot by Israeli forces in March.

The Israeli military claimed that Fatima Taqatqa was carrying out a car ramming attack when she was shot at the Gush Etzion junction in the southern West Bank on 15 March.

Security camera footage shows Taqatqa’s car driving at a high speed over a median and crashing into a barricade, behind which a group of soldiers were standing:

No Israelis were injured during the incident.

The girl was buried by her family and a crowd of mourners in the village of Beit Fajjar on Sunday:

Nine children killed this year

Of the 25 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and armed civilians so far this year, nine were children under the age of 18.

Last year, 35 Palestinian children were killed by Israeli forces and armed civilians. It was the deadliest year in more than a decade for Palestinian children in the West Bank.

The human rights group Amnesty International has pointed to a “pattern of unlawful killings carried out by Israeli forces” since September 2015, stating that many should be investigated as possible extrajudicial executions.

Human rights groups have frequently blamed senior Israeli officials for encouraging soldiers and civilians to use lethal force against Palestinians even when there is no immediate danger to their lives.

Since the year 2000, in only a handful of cases were soldiers prosecuted for manslaughter in relation to the slaying of Palestinians, according to the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz.

Earlier this month, Israeli police were shown on video demonstrating how to confirm a kill to a crowd of fifth-graders.

Not all encounters between Palestinian children and Israeli forces end in death.

A 14-year-old Palestinian girl was arrested at the Qalandiya checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday.

Israeli police claimed the girl was attempting a stabbing attack, saying she had walked towards soldiers in a vehicle lane while carrying a knife and ignored commands to stop.

The girl was reportedly pepper sprayed and then detained.

In a video recorded at the scene, the girl kneels on the ground as a bystander pleads in Arabic and Hebrew for the Israeli forces not to shoot the girl:

No injuries were reported during the incident.


Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.