A Palestinian child was some 150 metres from the perimeter fence of the occupied Gaza Strip when he was killed by Israeli soldiers during protests on 8 February.
According to Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), 16-year-old Hassan Nabil Ahmad Nofal had joined a group of youth participating in Great Return March protests around 3.30pm last Friday.
The group was standing around 150 metres from the fence when Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters directly at the youngsters; Hassan was struck on the right side of his head, fracturing his skull.
Taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital for emergency care, Hassan then underwent surgery in Shifa hospital, “where he remained in critical condition”, DCIP stated.
Dr Hazem Kahil, a neurosurgery specialist at Shifa hospital, told DCIP that the surgery was performed to stop a brain bleed, but Hassan was pronounced dead on 12 February.
“Tear gas canisters can become deadly weapons when they are fired and strike a child’s torso or head,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, head of DCIP’s Accountability Programme.
“Since the start of 2018, DCIP has documented five cases of Palestinian children who died after being struck in the head with Israeli-fired tear gas canisters”.
DCIP noted that Hassan is “among four children from the Gaza Strip and two further children from the West Bank to be killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of the year”.