Baha Eldeen Samir Bader, 12, was killed by a bullet to his chest after Israeli soldiers raided Beit Liqya, southwest of Ramallah, on the evening of Thursday, October 16. Israeli soldiers bombarded the village with tear gas and ammunition.
“Israeli forces continue to fire live ammunition at Palestinian children, killing them with impunity,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program Director at DCI-Palestine. “Israeli soldiers consistently violate their own live-fire regulations and know that they will not be held accountable for their actions no matter what the result.”
According to eyewitness testimonies collected by DCI-Palestine, three Israeli military jeeps entered Beit Liqya at around 5:00 pm on Thursday afternoon. The raid resulted in a confrontation between Israeli soldiers and local youths.
Eyewitnesses said that about eighteen soldiers were present in the village when Baha was shot. One bystander told DCI-Palestine that Baha was returning home from playing on the football field, and had not been involved in the clashes at the time he was fatally shot. The witness was standing only 2 meters (6.5 feet) away from the child when he was shot.
Baha died as a result of severe bleeding from a gunshot wound to his chest, according to medical sources. Baha arrived at the hospital without vital signs and was pronounced dead at around 8:30 pm.
Baha’s death brings the number of children killed by live ammunition in the West Bank by Israeli forces to a total of nine since the beginning of 2014. Palestinian children are frequently killed and injured by the use of excessive force that includes crowd control weapons and live ammunition. Under a “policy of impunity,” none of the soldiers implicated in these incidents have been held to account.
The Israeli military’s own regulations dictate that live ammunition may only be used “under circumstances of real mortal danger,” but the regulations are not enforced and frequently ignored by Israeli soldiers, according to research by DCI-Palestine and a recent report by B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group.
The international community has regularly expressed concern over the use of live ammunition by Israeli forces. However, the use of live ammunition by Israeli soldiers to fire at unarmed Palestinian children during demonstrations is an increasingly common occurrence throughout the occupied West Bank.