Israeli forces killed four Palestinian children with live ammunition across the occupied Palestinian territory between 25 January and 8 February, rights NGO Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) reported yesterday.
Seventeen-year-old Hamza Mohammad Rushdi Ishteiwi and 13-year-old Hassan Iyad Abdel Fattah Shalbi were both killed last Friday "during demonstrations in the central and southern parts of the Gaza Strip, respectively".
A medic interviewed by DCIP said that "Hamza was sitting 200 meters (656 feet) from the perimeter fence at approximately 5 p.m. when he was shot by a single fatal bullet that struck the right side of his neck". Hassan, meanwhile, was shot in the chest.
In addition, "two further children from the West Bank were killed by Israeli forces during the last week of January".
Sixteen-year-old Samah Zuheer Ahmad Mubarak was shot at close range at a checkpoint outside Jerusalem after "an alleged attempted stabbing attack" on 30 January, while 17-year-old Ayman Ahmad Othman Hamed "was shot in the neck by Israeli forces while on a picnic with friends in the central West Bank town of Silwad on January 25".
In 2018, "DCIP independently verified the deaths of 57 Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli forces or settlers across the Occupied Palestinian Territory".
DCIP's Accountability Programme director, Ayed Abu Eqtaish, said that "international law stresses children's right to life," adding: "Evidence that DCIP collected on 56 child fatalities at the hands of Israeli forces last year showed that in a majority of cases, children did not pose any direct threat at the time they were killed".