2016 Deadliest Year for West Bank Children in Decade

Israeli soldiers arrest a young Palestinian boy. (File Photo)Israeli soldiers arrest a young Palestinian boy. (File Photo)

Israeli forces have killed more Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and Beit-ul-Moqaddas in 2016 than any other year in the last decade, rights group Defense for Children International has said.

The organization’s chapter in the occupied Palestinian territories recorded the killings of 32 Palestinian children (under 18), making 2016 “the deadliest year of the past decade” for them, the group said in a recent report.

Many of those killings happened during Israeli military raids on Palestinian towns in the occupied West Bank, confrontations with the Israeli Army or during unarmed protests, Aljazeera reported.

“Israeli soldiers employ a shoot-to-kill policy. They have the green light to kill Palestinians and the fact that they can do so with impunity and no consequences builds the foundation for such shootings to take place,” Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCI-Palestine, told Aljazeera.

Since October 2015, Israeli soldiers and settlers have been responsible for the killing of at least 244 Palestinians, including unarmed demonstrators and bystanders in what has been termed the Jerusalem (Beit-ul-Moqaddas) intifada (uprising).

Of the 32, 19 were between the ages of 16 and 17, while 13 were in the age group of 13 to 15 years old, according to DCI-Palestine.

In 2015, the total number of civilians under the age of 18 killed in the occupied West Bank and East Beit-ul-Moqaddas stood at 28. In 2014, 13 Palestinian children were killed, while four were killed in 2013.


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