Israeli troops in the Beit Ummar area near the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank shot dead 15-year-old Khaled Bahar who allegedly hurled rocks at a patrol, the army said.
“Rocks were hurled at the soldiers, wounding one of them lightly,” a spokesperson told AFP news agency, adding that the soldiers first fired warning shots “and then [fired] towards the suspect, resulting in his death”.
Local activist, Muhammad Ayyad Awad, also told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers had prevented a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance from approaching the youth, while witnesses said that Israeli forces refused to provide CPR to the youth after he was shot.
Israel shoots children in their backs and murders them..with Impunity too. 15 y/o Child Khalid Bahr shot dead in Beit Ummar Village. pic.twitter.com/MJOMc9SxJC
— Days of Palestine (@DaysofPalestine) October 20, 2016
Khalid became the 235th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since a wave of violence spread across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October 2015.
Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians, particularly minors, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response, with a report released recently by Palestinian NGO, BADIL, warning of an increasing trend of Israeli forces targeting Palestinian youth with live fire.
Israeli authorities have also dramatically escalated their crackdown on Palestinian youth who are caught throwing rocks, with Israel passing a law last year setting sentences up to 20 years in prison for stone throwing if intent to harm could be proven, and a minimum prison sentence of three years for throwing a stone at an Israeli.
— Afsana Abdul (أفسانا أبدول) (@AfsanaAbdul) October 21, 2016
Meanwhile, Israeli police defended officers who shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian woman accused of trying to stab them on Wednesday, after a video emerged appearing to show them fire at her as she lay on the ground.
The Palestinian foreign ministry harshly criticized the shooting, saying that “the recording shows the soldiers continued to shoot her despite her falling to the ground and not representing any threat to them”.
(PC, MA’AN, Al-Jazeera)