A Palestinian child killed by Israeli occupation forces last week was shot in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet from a distance of 25 metres, according to a leading children’s rights NGO.
On 30 January, 16-year-old Layth Abu Naim was killed during a raid by Israeli occupation forces of his West Bank village of Al-Mughayyir.
A report by Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI-Palestine) describes how village youngsters were throwing stones at Israeli forces.
“Layth threw a stone at a military jeep, according to the witness, and was about to throw another stone when forces shot him from a distance of approximately 25 metres (82 feet),” stated DCI-Palestine.
“[Layth] was shot from inside the smaller jeep,” the eyewitness added. “The soldier opened the window and opened fire.”
Doctors said that the rubber-coated metal bullet entered the left side of Layth’s forehead. He was declared dead at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.
Laythwas the fourth Palestinian child killed by Israeli occupation forces in 2018, with the previous three all shot with live ammunition.
DCI-Palestine noted that “Israeli forces’ own regulations state that rubber-coated metal bullets must only be fired at lower extremities from a distance between 50 and 60 metres (164-197 feet), and should never be aimed at children.”
On 19 January, Israeli forces shot nine-year-old Ahmad Awais in the eye with a rubber-coated metal bullet during confrontations near the West Bank city of Nablus. “Ahmad was treated for corneal scratches and internal bleeding in his eye but is expected to regain full vision.”
DCI-Palestine noted how January was “marked by high rates of live ammunition injuries among minors in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Overall in January, citing United Nations figures, Israeli forces injured 150 children “with live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas inhalation, or tear gas canisters”.
Israeli forces are disregarding Palestinian children’s lives and the international laws that were put in place to protect them
said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Programme director at DCI-Palestine.
“Their use of live ammunition in circumstances unjustified by international law and routine misuse of crowd control weapons are coming at a grave cost to children, which should be unacceptable to all.”