Israeli sniper kills 16-year-old Palestinian boy in Jenin


Ramallah, August 2, 2022—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy last night in the northern occupied West Bank.

Dirar Riyad Lufti Al-Haj Saleh, 16, was shot in the back with live ammunition by Israeli forces around 10:35 p.m. on August 1 in Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. An Israeli sniper deployed on top of a residential building shot Dirar from approximately 90 meters (295 feet). He sustained an entry wound to his back right shoulder and the bullet expanded inside his body resulting in severe internal bleeding. An ambulance transported Dirar to the Jenin Government Hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 10:40 p.m.

“Israeli forces know no bounds and continue to kill Palestinian children with impunity,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli soldiers seemingly shoot to kill with complete disregard for international norms, perpetrating war crimes, as the international community stands silent.” 

Dirar was targeted as the Israeli military made an incursion into Jenin refugee camp about 20 minutes earlier that night. Dirar and other Palestinian residents confronted Israeli forces deployed in and near military vehicles that were located about 50 meters (165 feet) away at the time he was shot, according to information collected by DCIP. 

Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or serious injury is present. However, investigations and evidence collected by DCIP regularly suggest that Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings.

Dirar is the 18th Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 

Amjad Nashat Faheem Naser (Abu Alia), 15, was fatally shot with live ammunition in the back around 11:30 a.m. on July 29 in the village of Al-Mughayyir, located northeast of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Amjad sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the right side of his back, but it remains unclear if an Israeli soldier or settler fired the fatal round.

In June, Mohammad Abdallah Salah Suleiman, 16, was shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces around 7:45 p.m. on June 24 during confrontations with Israeli soldiers near Silwad, a town located northeast of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank. 

Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Odeh Mohammad Odeh Sadaqa on June 2 in the occupied West Bank village of Al-Midya, west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank. Odeh was walking with two friends about 100 meters (330 feet) from his home when Israeli forces deployed in the area opened fire on them. As they attempted to flee, Odeh was struck in the back with a single bullet that struck his heart and exited through his chest, according to information collected by DCIP.

In May, Israeli forces shot and killed 14-year-old Zaid Mohammad Said Ghunaim on May 27 in the occupied West Bank town of Al-Khader, located southwest of Bethlehem. Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Ghaith Mohammad Rafiq Ziad Yamin around 1:30 a.m. on May 25 near Qabr Yusuf (Jacob’s Tomb) east of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. Amjad Walid Hussein Fayed, 16, was shot with live ammunition in the chest by Israeli forces around 2:30 a.m. on May 21 in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. Israeli forces shot and killed Thaer Khalil Mohammad Maslat, 16, with live ammunition on May 11 in the occupied West Bank city of Al-Bireh shortly after he left school. On May 8, Israeli forces shot and killed 17-year-old Motasem Mohammad Taleb Atallah inside the Jewish-only Tekoa settlement located near Bethlehem after he entered the settlement possessing a knife.

Shawkat Kamal Shawkat Abed, 17, succumbed to his injuries on April 15 after Israeli forces shot him in the abdomen near Jenin. Israeli forces shot and killed Qusai Fuad Mohammad Hamamra, 16, in Husan, near Bethlehem on April 13. Mohammad Hussein Mohammad Qassim succumbed to his wounds on April 11, a day after Israeli forces shot him in Jenin. Israeli forces shot and killed Sanad Mohammad Khalil Abu Atiya on March 31 in Jenin as he approached a wounded man in an attempt to render aid. Nader Haitham Fathi Rayyan, 16, was killed by Israeli forces outside the entrance of Balata refugee camp located southeast of Nablus on March 15. 

Israeli forces shot and killed Yamen Nafez Mahmoud Khanafsehin Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem on March 6. Israeli forces shot and killed 13-year-old Mohammad Rezq Shehadeh Salah on February 22 in Al-Khader, southwest of Bethlehem. An Israeli sniper shot and killed 16-year-old Mohammad Akram Ali Taher Abu Salah with live ammunition on February 13 while Israeli forces deployed in the village of Silat Al-Harithiya near Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 

2021 was the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014. Israeli forces and armed civilians killed 78 Palestinian children, according to evidence collected by DCIP.

- Photo : 16-year-old Dirar Riyad Lufti Al-Haj Saleh is the 18th Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2022. (Photo: Courtesy of the Al-Haj Saleh family)