Israel fatally shot a Palestinian child on Tuesday and left him to bleed while preventing an ambulance from reaching him.
Muhammad Rizq Shehade Salah was about 100 meters from the Israeli-built separation barrier in al-Khader village south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank when an Israeli soldier shot him in the torso with live ammunition.
The Israeli army claimed he had been throwing a Molotov cocktail, according to Haaretz.
But the military statement actually quoted by the newspaper is much more vague. It says that Israeli soldiers “identified three suspects who arrived at a location where Molotov cocktails were repeatedly thrown at Israeli vehicles recently.”
No Israelis were reported injured in the alleged incident.
As the 13-year-old lay bleeding and injured on the ground, Israeli forces approached him and stripped him of his clothes, video footage shows.
The army prevented a Palestinian ambulance from reaching him, Defense for Children International-Palestine confirmed.
The bleeding and injured child was left on the ground for 30 minutes until Israeli forces put him on a stretcher and transferred him to Route 60, a highway used by Israeli settlers where Israeli gunfire has killed multiple Palestinians.
The boy’s father, Rizq Shehade Salah, arrived at Route 60 to inquire about his son’s condition. Two Israeli ambulances were on the scene.
But Israeli forces “threatened him with their firearms” and prevented him from approaching, according to DCIP.
The Israeli army then seized Muhammad’s body and held it overnight until they handed it over to his family on Wednesday.
Muhammad is the second Palestinian child Israel has killed this year.
DCIP notes that last year was the deadliest for Palestinian children since 2014.
On 13 February, an Israeli sniper shot Muhammad Akram Abu Salah in the eye, killing him, in Silat al-Harithiya village near Jenin.
He succumbed to his wounds in the early hours of the next day.
Abu Salah was killed while Israeli troops invaded the village to demolish the home of a Palestinian prisoner accused of involvement in the killing of an Israeli in December.
Such punitive home demolitions are a form of collective punishment – a war crime.