Alwaght- An international children’s rights NGO says Israeli regime forces have shot and killed 11 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip since January.
Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCI-P) reported on Thursday that the fatalities included two minors, whom were shot during anti-occupation protests along the fence separating the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories on March 30, as well as a volunteer medic killed in the town of Bethlehem, located some 10 kilometers south of the Old City of al-Quds (Jerusalem), last week.
“Israeli forces are killing Palestinian children with live ammunition at alarming rates,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the director of DCIP’s Accountability Program.
According to DCIP, on Saturday 30 March, Israeli soldiers shot 16-year-old Bilal Najjar during protests near the perimeter fence of the occupied Gaza Strip; hit in the abdomen, Bilal died in hospital.
On the same day, 17-year-old Adham Nidal Sakr Amara was shot in the head with live ammunition.
DCIP’s investigation found that “Adham was likely struck with an exploding bullet”, citing “medical sources” who “stated that the object that struck Adham appeared to have detonated on the lower half of his face”.
Furthermore, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report published on Thursday that the number of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in 2018 had increased sharply from the previous year, and reached 57 compared to 15 in 2017.
Last February UN investigators have accused Israeli regime troops of intentionally firing on civilians and said they may have committed war crimes in their lethal response to Palestinian demonstrations in Gaza.
The independent Commission of Inquiry, set up last year by the UN’s human rights council, said the panel said in a statement that it had found “reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognizable as such”.
Thirty-five of those killed were children, three were clearly identifiable paramedics and two were clearly marked journalists, the report said.