A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) published today has revealed a huge spike in Israeli killing of Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank.
The report pointed out that although 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinian children in 15 years, the number of deaths for 2023 are already on course to surpass the 2022 levels. As of August 2023, 34 children have been killed.
Associate children’s rights director at HRW Bill Van Esveld said “Israeli forces are gunning down Palestinian children living under occupation with increasing frequency.” He warned that “unless Israel’s allies, particularly the United States pressure Israel to change curse, more Palestinian children will be killed.”
HRW called on Israeli forces to the end its routine unlawful use of lethal force against Palestinians, including children.
The organisation urged the UN secretary general to list Israel’s armed forces in his annual report on grave violations against children in armed conflict for 2023 as responsible for the violation of killing and maiming Palestinian children.
“Palestinian children live a reality of apartheid and structural violence, where they could be gunned down at any time without any serious prospect of accountability,” Van Esveld said. He added “Israel’s allies should confront this ugly reality and create real pressure for accountability.”