Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank have shot at least 30 Palestinian children with live ammunition since the start of the year.
According to DCI-Palestine, the NGO behind the data, the use of live bullets has “left several children in a critical condition”, including a 15-year-old shot in the chest and a 16-year-old shot in the face.
Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at the organisation, claimed that “the high rate of incidents involving live ammunition against children amounts to a de facto policy that permits Israeli forces to use lethal force on civilians.”
“Soldiers operate with the knowledge that their brutal actions will go unchecked whatever the result.”
DCI-Palestine also noted UN figures that show Israeli forces have injured a total of 258 Palestinians over the past 12 weeks in the West Bank. Just in the week March 10-16, the Israeli army shot 18 Palestinians, including nine children, with live ammunition.
Yesterday, DCI-Palestine delivered a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, describing how “repeated Israeli military offensives and prolonged military occupation combined with Israel’s complete disregard for international law has hindered any meaningful efforts toward implementing comprehensive protections for Palestinian children.”
The statement was co-signed by Palestinian human rights organizations Al-Haq, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, and Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.