Palestine: 14-year-old became the eighth Palestinian killed in West Bank this year
By Elham Asaad Buaras
(The Muslim News): A 14-year-old boy became the eighth Palestinian and the second child to be killed by Israeli occupying forces (IOF) in the West Bank this year, reports the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.
The IOF opened live fire at Mohammed Rezeq Salah on February 22, claiming that the teen threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at the vehicles of illegal Israeli settlers in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem,
Medical sources have confirmed that the slain teen was shot with live rounds.
Local activist Ahmad Salah said the soldiers, including undercover officers, invaded the Bakoush area in the western part of Al-Khader, leading to protests by local Palestinians. The army fired a barrage of live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades at the protesters.
The International Middle East Media Centre reported that the soldiers prevented a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance from reaching Salah.
A video from the scene shows Salah on the ground with two soldiers near him after removing his clothes; one appeared to be listening to see if he had a heartbeat.
According to Israeli Ynet News the child’s father said that he heard about his son being shot and ran towards him before the soldiers pointed their guns at him and threatened to shoot him.
“I told the soldiers I just need to know where my son is and whether he was wounded or dead,” he said, “I asked a soldier if my son was still among the living, and he only ordered me to leave or get shot and be thrown next to him…. that is when I knew they killed my child…”
Additionally, on February 22, an Israeli soldier shot another Palestinian teen during clashes within the Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. The unnamed 18-year-old was in critical condition after shrapnel penetrated his retina, causing severe damage to his eye.
In its update, which covers February 17 to February 23, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) also tallied that 87 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank this year. Among the injured were 18 children, seven journalists and two medical personnel.
The injuries were sustained during the IOF’s incursion into Jenin and the suppression of peaceful protests in Bita village in Nablus and Kafr Qaddoum in Qalqilya.
Israeli attacks also continued in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied east Jerusalem, including imposing closure on the neighbourhood, suppressing the protesters with sound bombs and tear-gas canisters, beating them with batons, while using mounted police officers, storming houses, and damaging tables and chairs placed by the villagers and solidarity activists in front of the Israeli Knesset Member and extremist Itamar Ben Gvir’ office.
During the clashes, a Palestinian sustained fracture in his hand and two sisters and two activists sustained bruises after being beaten by Israeli forces.
Also, (25), a person with disabilities, was beaten by IOF, who tried to arrest him and handcuff him, causing him to panic.
Israeli forces also detained a 25-year-old man with Down’s syndrome. A video of the incident which has since gone viral shows, a visibly petrified, Mohammed Morshed al-Ajlouni being surrounded, shoved and handcuffed by Israeli forces as he screams in fear.
Moments earlier, al-Ajlouni was dancing in a street wedding celebration.
The IOF killed four Palestinians with special needs last year. Three of the killings occurred during the siege of the Gaza Strip in May 2021. Al-‘Ajlouni’s classmate, Eyad al-Hallaq, a 32-year-old autistic Palestinian man, was shot and killed by Israeli police after not stopping at the Lions’ Gate checkpoint in Jerusalem on May 30, 2020.
PCHR also reports that illegal Israeli settlers have carried out 42 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank so far this year.
For PCHR’s latest weekly update on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, click here.
[Photo: Shops closed due to the general strike, held in the certain cities after 3 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli forces in the city of Nablus, West Bank, in Ramallah, West Bank on February 9, 2022. Photographer: Issam Rimawi/ AA]
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