A Palestinian child was killed by Israeli forces on Friday.
Muhammad Amjad Dadas had gone to the village of Deir al-Hatab, near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, where Israeli forces were attacking Palestinian youth with tear gas canisters and stun grenades.
Palestinians were protesting the encroachment of the Jewish colony of Elon Moreh on land that was violently seized from the village.
Muhammad, 15, was with other boys from the New Askar refugee camp on the outskirts of Nablus, according to the human rights group Defense for Children International-Palestine.
The boy “walked closer” to the soldiers approximately 30 minutes after he arrived. An Israeli sniper shot him in the abdomen when he was 50 meters away.
Muhammad was transferred to Rafidia hospital in Nablus in a private car while “bleeding profusely.”
He was pronounced dead an hour after he arrived.
Muhammad’s 10th grade classmates laid a shrine on his desk as they mourned on Sunday.The European Union’s representatives in the West Bank city of Ramallah issued a statement expressing “shock” over the killing of Dadas, describing it as the “disproportionate use of lethal force.” The EU did not say what level of lethal force it would consider “proportionate.” Nor did the EU diplomats call for any sanctions to be imposed on Israel.
Rather than contemplating sanctions, the EU is actually on the cusp of bolstering its relations with Israel.
Talks on Israel’s participation in the EU’s new program on scientific research have concluded and it is likely that an accord will be signed before the end of this year.
Known as Horizon Europe, that program has a total budget of around $110 billion between now and 2027.
While EU diplomats in Ramallah may claim to be shocked, there is nothing out of the ordinary about Muhammad’s killing.
So far this year, 15 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. And more than 60 children were killed in Gaza when Israel bombarded it for 11 consecutive days during May.
“He was an innocent, smiley, cheerful little boy”
Meanwhile, new details have emerged regarding Israel’s killing of a boy in August.
Imad Khaled Hashash, 15, and his brother Muhammad, 19, were awoken by Israeli forces raiding Balata refugee camp in Nablus during the early hours of 24 August.
The two brothers went up to the roof of their house to see what was happening as Israeli forces were invading the camp and firing at Palestinians there.
The Israeli army claimed that there was a “violent disturbance of the peace.”
The military alleged that someone on the roof held a large object in his hand and attempted to throw it below. An Israeli soldier was prompted to open fire as a result, the military claimed.
But that’s a complete lie, an investigation by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem found.
“There was no disturbance of the peace at the time,” the group said.
Imad Hashash was “standing on the roof of his home with his brother, filming the soldiers as they were leaving the camp.”
The killing was witnessed by Imad’s brother Muhammad and by a relative standing on a building opposite. The witnesses corroborated each other’s testimonies.
“I told Imad to get back, but he wanted to see what was happening and was filming it on his phone. I pulled him back,” Muhammad told B’Tselem.
“Imad went closer to the edge again to see what was going on, and then I heard a shot and Imad fell face down on the floor.”
The brothers’ relative, 25-year-old Ali Hashash, was standing on the roof of his home watching what was happening in the neighborhood when Imad was killed.
“I noticed one of the soldiers looking up and aiming his weapon. I signaled to Imad that he should get back, that the soldiers were below,” Ali told B’Tselem.
“The street is well lit and we could see each other,” he added.
“Imad went back a bit and so did I, so the soldiers wouldn’t see me. Then Imad went forward again and looked down, and I heard a gunshot followed by screams coming from his house.”
Muhammad and Ali described how Israeli soldiers then fired tear gas canisters near the home.
Imad’s killing has left his family in a state of grief.
“I can’t understand why my brother was killed. I looked at him and it was like a nightmare,” Muhammad said.
“We used to sleep on a mattress on the floor next to each other every night. If we hadn’t heard the damn noises outside, Imad would be in school with his friends today.”
Imad’s father, Khaled Hashash, recounted how his son had joked with him earlier that night about wanting to get married that day.
“He tickled me under my armpit and started laughing,” Khaled recalled.
“Imad loved to joke around, but I didn’t know that would be the last time he would joke with me. I wish I’d known,” he added.
“He was an innocent, smiley, cheerful little boy who lit up our home and the whole neighborhood with joy. They killed him without any warning, for no reason at all.”
David Cronin contributed reporting.