Palestinian Child Killed by IOF Fire in Bethlehem
Date: 28 May 2022
Time: 11:00 GMT
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed yesterday evening a Palestinian child in al-Khader village, southern Bethlehem, after deliberately and unjustifiably shooting at him during their incursion into Um Rukbah area in the village and deployment between residential houses.
This crime reiterates IOF’s excessive use of force and loose shooting standards against the Palestinians allowed without threat or real danger to soldiers’ lives. These murders against Palestinians are conducted with the cover and support of the highest political level in Israel.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at around 19:00 on Friday, 27 May 2022, IOF moved into Um Rukbah area, southern al-Khader village, and stationed between houses; they topped some of the house roofs amid rubber bullet shooting. Around 40 minutes later, when Zaid Mohammed Sa’id Ghuneim (14) was on his way back home from his grandmother’s house, he noticed Israeli soldiers deployed in the alleys. He hid in a car garage belonging to one of the houses, but IOF could see him and chased him. IOF unjustifiably fired 3 bullets at his upper body, and he fell on the ground. Afterwards, IOF approached the child and searched him, denying him any medical aid as well as preventing any of the residents of the house where he hid in its garage from approaching him. When IOF withdrew from the area, the Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulance crews could take him to al-Yamamah hospital in al-Khader village, where the medical personnel announced his death after he succumbed to 3-bullet injury in the neck and back.
It should be noted that IOF almost daily station in the area allegedly for its location near the settlement Bypass Road 60. Previously on 22 February 2022, IOF killed in the same area Mohammed Rezeq Salah (14) and on 10 April 2022 Mohammed ‘Ali Ghunaim (21) in similar circumstances, claiming they threw stones at the settlement road.
PCHR points out that IOF murder crimes against Palestinian civilians, particularly children, have been on the rise, including the use of snipers and direct shooting to kill, harm, and cause severe injuries, ascertaining that these crimes are committed without justification.
Since the beginning of 2022, IOF murdered 51 Palestinians, including 39 civilians: 12 children, 4 women (one was a journalist) and the rest were activists; 3 of them were assassinated. All of them are residents of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate action to end Israeli occupation’s crimes, and its call upon the ICC Prosecutor to investigate the situation in Palestine without any delay similar to its prompt action in Ukraine. PCHR also demand the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention fulfil their obligations as per Common Article 1 of the Convention, “undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.” PCHR also calls upon the High Contracting Parties to uphold their commitment to Article 146 of the same Conventions, i.e., to hold accountable persons accused of committing grave breaches of the Convention, and to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory.