Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian child “at close range and from an ambush without any justification”, then prevented his parents from sitting by his hospital bed, it has been revealed.
N.R., aged 13 years old, was shot by Israeli soldiers on 23 July after he went through a gap in the Separation Wall near Jayyous in the occupied West Bank.
The Separation Wall has been widely condemned as an illegal land grab. In 2004, it was condemned in an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
After being taken to hospital, Israeli soldiers guarding his room prevented his parents from staying with their son over eight days and even briefly tied him to the bed.
The grim details are contained in a new report issued by Israeli rights NGO B’Tselem, who say that the young teen was hospitalised for a month and underwent three operations.
In addition, the NGO says, N.R.’s parents were not present when he was interrogated and when his detention was extended.
Disturbingly, B’Tselem adds, such conduct by Israeli forces “is far from unusual, reflecting both declared policy and norms that have developed”.
N.R. was crossing through an opening in the Separation Wall with a boy the same age, when they were ambushed by “soldiers hiding in wait on the other side”. N.R. was shot and injured in both legs.
His father, on arriving at the scene, was prevented from approaching his son. “I saw him lying on the ground, with soldiers surrounding him,” he said. “I tried to get close but the soldiers wouldn’t let me through.” One soldier warned the boy’s father “that he would shoot if I came any closer”.
N.R. was taken to hospital by the army, who gave a permit to the mother to visit him – but denied an entry permit to the father “for security reasons”. Following surgery, Israeli soldiers then prevented the mother from staying at the boy’s side.
“They came up to me and ordered me to leave the room,” she told B’Tselem.
More soldiers and police officers came and carried me out forcefully. Before they dragged me out, I saw them tie my son’s hands together with metal handcuffs and lay them on his stomach.
Commenting on the case as a whole, B’Tselem stated that the behaviour of the Israeli forces “is part declared policy and part conduct that has come to be seen as acceptable and reasonable”.
“As a result,” the organisation continued, “as in countless cases in the past, no one will be held accountable for this series of wrongdoings, guaranteeing that similar cases will occur in the future, as long as the occupation persists.”