Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Israeli soldiers kill 14-year-old Palestinian boy in West Bank

A 14-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city Qalqilya on Thursday morning.

The Palestinian health ministry named the victim as Fares Sharhabeel Abu Samra, who it said was shot in the head.

Israeli troops stormed a neighbourhood in the vicinity of Qalqilya, which led to confrontations according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Israeli forces used live and rubber-coated metal bullets, stun grenades, and fired tear gas at residents.

The Israeli military said it fired into the air after “rioters” threw “stones and Molotov cocktails” at soldiers. It added that Abu Samra’s death was under investigation.

The military makes near-identical statements after killing Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, often claiming that soldiers reacted to an attempted attack against them.

It rarely investigates the killing of Palestinians by its troops and has been criticised by rights groups for its “shoot-to-kill” policy even when Palestinians pose no danger to soldiers.

A report in 2022 by the Israeli rights group Yesh Din found that less than one percent of soldiers accused of harming Palestinians between 2017-2021 were ever charged with crimes.

The military law enforcement authorities “systematically avoid investigating and prosecuting soldiers who harm Palestinians”, the group announced.

On Wednesday Mohammad Abdel-Hakim Nada, 23, was shot in the chest by Israeli gunfire and later died in hospital.

Israeli troops raided the Al-Ain refugee camp in Nablus in the late morning to arrest some Palestinians, local media reported.

At least 202 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire this year, including 35 children – a rate of nearly one fatality per day.

A total of 165 people have died in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, making 2023 one of the bloodiest years in the occupied Palestinian territories. Another 36 people were killed in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Palestinians have killed 25 Israelis in the same period, including six children.

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