Israeli occupation forces killed two Palestinian boys in December.
Ali Ayman Saleh Abu Alia, 15, died after being shot in the stomach by soldiers while he was observing confrontations that followed a protest in al-Mughayyir village near the West Bank city of Ramallah on 4 December.
Village residents hold a weekly protest against an Israeli settlement outpost built on al-Mughayyir’s land in 2015.
The second child killed last month, Mahmoud Kmail, 17, was shot by Israeli paramilitary Border Police after he allegedly opened fire toward occupation forces in Jerusalem’s Old City on 21 December.
Kmail was shot while running away from the Border Police officers and was left on the ground and given no medical treatment for two hours before an ambulance came to collect his body.
The teen was from Qabatiya, a town in the northern West Bank. Around a dozen young Palestinians from Qabatiya have been killed by Israeli forces since 2015.
Nine children were killed by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2020, according to Defense for Children International Palestine. Six of them were fatally injured with live fire.
Deaf man dies from injuries
At least 35 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in 2020 or died from injuries sustained in previous years.
Israeli Border Police said that the man had approached the checkpoint in a vehicle lane and that guards shot him in the lower limbs when he did not respond to calls to stop.
Ester Horgen, an Israeli woman who lived in a West Bank settlement, was found dead with signs of violence on her body on 21 December. Israeli authorities were treating her death as a “suspected terror attack.”
Two Israelis, one of them a soldier fatally injured during a raid, were allegedly killed by Palestinians earlier in the year.
Settler violence against Palestinians escalated in the West Bank in December following the slaying of Horgen and the death of a 16-year-old Israeli who was killed when the car in which he was traveling with four other settler youths flipped during a police chase.
“The Israeli authorities reportedly suspected [the youths] had thrown stones at Palestinian cars,” the UN monitoring group OCHA stated.
Gaza City home shelled
A Palestinian home east of Gaza City was hit and badly damaged by an Israeli tank shell reportedly fired accidentally during December.
Separately, Israel pounded Gaza in the early hours of 26 December after a projectile was fired from the territory.
Three Palestinians, including a 6-year-old girl, were injured in the Israeli strikes, the Gaza-based human rights group Al Mezan said.
The strikes damaged a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation facility for persons with disabilities, a primary school and an education ministry training center, in addition to multiple industrial plants.
Al Mezan condemned the attacks and warned against any resumption of hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic which has brought “unprecedented deterioration of socioeconomic conditions in Gaza.”
COVID-19 surged in Gaza during December and by the end of the month accounted for nearly half of the 22,000 active cases in the occupied territories, despite one million more Palestinians living in the West Bank than in the Strip, as of 31 December.
More than 700 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip died from complications of COVID-19 during the month, accounting for nearly half of the 1,500 total deaths since March.
While Israel has begun to roll out vaccinations for its citizens, Palestinians living under its military occupation are excluded, despite its obligations under international law.