Israel’s refusal to turn over the body of a 14-year-old child is hampering an investigation into his killing by a human rights organization.
On the evening of 14 October, Amjad Osama Abu Sultan went to a spot overlooking Route 60, near Beit Jala, west of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, with his friend Muhammad, also 14.
As Amjad allegedly lit a Molotov cocktail, six Israeli soldiers appeared from behind rocks and fired three shots at him without warning, according to human rights group Defense for Children International Palestine.
Israeli authorities called the boy’s parents later that night informing them their son had been fatally shot.
His father Osama Abu Sultan told media that the Israeli intelligence officer who called to inform him his son was dead tried to intimidate him by telling him to watch out for his other son.
The officer identified himself as Wisam Abu Ayoub, according to Abu Sultan.
That is in all likelihood a fake name.
Abu Ayoub claimed Amjad threatened him through Facebook, his father recalled.
The Israeli intelligence officer posted messages that Amjad allegedly sent him on Facebook.
Abu Sultan’s account of his phone call with the Israeli officer and the officer’s publication of Facebook messages allegedly sent by the boy raises questions about whether Amjad was targeted.
The father wondered whether a boy of 14, “even if he did throw a Molotov cocktail,” could “really threaten the state of Israel?” He was puzzled as to why Israeli forces had not tried to arrest Amjad or shoot him in the leg.
Israel withheld Amjad’s body after he was shot and has since refused to return it to his family.
As a result, the human rights group cannot determine how many bullets hit Amjad or where on his body.
His friend Muhammad, who witnessed the killing, was later arrested by Israeli forces. Muhammad was reportedly uninjured during the shooting of Amjad.
Amjad’s killing brings to 14 the number of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the year.
“Israeli forces routinely unlawfully kill Palestinian children with impunity, using excessive force and unjustified intentional lethal force,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at Defense for Children International Palestine.
There is almost never any form of credible investigation by Israeli authorities, let alone accountability, for those who kill Palestinian children.