Taking advantage of the impunity enjoyed by its soldiers, and the immunity against any legal prosecution, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continue to target Palestinian children, whether by killing, wounding or arrest.
One of those children was the 16-year-old child Abdel Rahman Abu Hamisa from the Gaza Strip who was killed by Israeli soldiers last month, raising the number of Palestinian children killed by the IOF since the beginning of the year to 13 children, 11 of whom were shot with live bullets.
Abu Hamisa was shot with a live bullet in the left shoulder that penetrated his chest while taking part in a march in solidarity with Al-Aqsa Mosque on July 28, 2017, near the Gaza border, which led to his instant death.
The crime of the occupation is not limited to direct killings; it extends to suspicious objects it leaves behind, which kill those touch them, especially children, as what happened to the 16-year-old Uday Nawaja, who was killed in the explosion of a suspicious object.
Nawaja comes from Yatta town in al-Khalil and lives with his family that herds sheep in Khirbet Buzeeq, in the Tubas governorate of the West Bank.
According to Daas Nawaja, the child’s uncle, on July 22 this year, while Uday was herding the sheep with Daas’ son and his own brother in the Wadi Al-Makhba area in Khirbet Buzeeq, and as they were preparing to return, Uday went away to collect the sheep and stopped under a tree when a loud explosion was heard.
“I immediately went to Uday and found him lying on the ground on his right side, suffering from an injury from the right side of his head, with the fingers of his right hand amputated. He died in front of my eyes”, Daas added.
Uday was taken to the Tubas government hospital where doctors reported that the cause of death was shrapnel in the head that caused severe brain hemorrhage.
Sponge-tipped bullets kill childhood
Tariq Mohammed al-Issawi, 15, from Al-Issawiya village in Jerusalem, joined a group of children who lost one of their eyes because of sponge-tipped bullets, which the IOF uses frequently in Jerusalem.
On July 21, 2017, al-Issawi was visiting a relative near the western entrance of the village near the main bus station. Confrontations with the IOF took place in the area due to the closure of al-Aqsa. When he left his relative’s house, heading to his family’s house, a sponge-tipped bullet hit his right eye.
Al-Issawi told Defense for Children International, Palestine (DCI), “I felt something very strong that hit my right eye, which made me fall to the ground and I woke up in the hospital, to realize that I was injured in my right eye because of the bandages covering it,” said al-Issawi.
He added, “I did not see the soldier who fired at me, or his whereabouts, and I knew that the bullet that hit me was a sponge-tipped bullet, because the Israeli army is using it a lot, and there are a lot of eye injuries in the village because of this type of bullets.”
Defense for Children International, Palestine (DCI) documented a number of cases of children injured with a sponge-tipped bullet. At least five of them lost an eye, with two children killed by the same type of bullets. Mohieddin Al-Tabakhi, 10 years old, from Al-Ram, was killed on July 19, 2016 after a spongy-tipped bullet hit the left side of his chest, and Mohammed Sinokrot, who died on September 7, 2014 from wounds sustained on 31 August 2014 after being shot by a sponge-tipped bullet in the right side of his head, causing a skull fracture and cerebral hemorrhage.
Ayed Abu Qutaish, the Director of the Accountability Program for Defense for Children International, Palestine (DCI), said: “The state of impunity enjoyed by the occupation soldiers and the lack of activating the principle of accountability will increase these crimes and encourage Israeli soldiers to go on with their violations.”(PIC)