PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES - A 12-year old Palestinian boy has been shot dead by Israeli army soldiers in the West Bank, CNN has quoted the Palestinian Palestinian Ministry of Health as saying.
The boy, Mohammed Allamy, was shot in the chest when soldiers opened fire on his father's car at the entrance to the town of Beit Ummar, midway between Bethlehem and Hebron on Wednesday.
Seriously injured, the boy was taken by his father to the Red Crescent in Beit Ummar. He was then transferred to Al-Ahli hospital in Hebron where he underwent surgery. After surgery, Mohammad was placed in the ICU but did not survive.
The Israeli army, according to the CNN report, said it was aware of claims its soldiers had killed a child. The soldiers, the army. said was investigating an incident where a car was observed from which men alighted to bury a newborn baby.
"Earlier Wednesday, IDF (Israel Defense Forces) troops observed suspicious activity near a military checkpoint adjacent to Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. A few men exited their vehicle and were seen digging in the ground before leaving the scene. IDF troops approached the scene with caution and upon examination found two bags, one of which contained the body of a newborn infant."
A short while after, IDF troops spotted a vehicle approaching the area and concluded that it was the same vehicle as before," the statement said.
The army statement went on to say that soldiers had tried to stop the car by shouting and firing warning shots into the air. One of the soldiers then fired towards the car's wheels in order to stop it, the statement concluded.
As is the case on countless occasions, Israeli army soldiers appear to be not very good shots, as bullets intended for other purposes invariably hit Palestinians, and they almost always turn out to be fatal.
Last Friday Israeli soldiers killed 17-year-old Mohammad Munir Mohammad Tamimi in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.
He was shot in the back. He too was taken to hospital but died a few hours later.
Israeli troops entered Nabi Saleh Friday afternoon and were confronted by Palestinian youths throwing stones. The Israeli army used tear gas, stun grenades, and live ammunition to attack Palestinian youths who were responding to the military invasion with stones, according to Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP).
Muhammad Munir Tamimi was standing ten feet away when an Israeli soldier sitting in a military vehicle shot the teenager in the back with live ammunition, leaving a large exit wound in his abdomen and exposing his intestines, DCIP said.
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Muhammad Munir Tamimi during his funeral in Deir Nizam, west of Ramallah, on Saturday 24 July 2021. Ibrahim Attaia | APA images
The Israeli army in response said, "a Palestinian suspect threw stones in a manner that fatally threatened one of the soldiers," according to The Times of Israel.
Defense for Children International Palestine says, "under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present."
It is unclear how shooting an unarmed boy in the back was responding to a threat to heavily armed and protected soldiers wearing body armor and helmets.
The Israeli army statement however went further saying, "the soldier initiated an arrest procedure that included gunfire towards the suspect."
"Shooting an unarmed boy in the back with live ammunition at relatively close range is not part of any remotely lawful or appropriate "arrest procedure," DCIP said.
"Excessive use of force is the norm," Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director with Defense for Children International Palestine, said.
Under an occupation characterized by systemic impunity, Palestinian children "can be killed at any moment with no recourse or accountability."
"Investigations and evidence collected by DCIP suggest Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian kids in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings. Intentional lethal force is only justified when there's a direct threat to life or of serious injury," DCIP said in a statement.
The death of 12-year old Mohammed Allamy comes a day after a 41-year old Palestinian plumber was shot dead by Israeli soldiers at the entrance to the West Bank town of Beita, according to the CNN report.
Shadi Salim, a father of five, who worked for the local Palestinian municipality, was on a job to repair a problem with the town's water supply, local resident Abu Abdullah told CNN, when he was shot dead by Israeli soldiers.
The Israeli army, said Salim, had approached the soldiers in a threatening way holding what appeared to be an iron bar. "After not stopping, even though the soldiers fired in the air, the force's commander fired at the suspect," an army spokesperson said, according to reports in Israeli media.
"Shadi had tools with him and wrenches for plumbing. They killed him in cold blood," Abu Abdullah told CNN.