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Nearly two dozen Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza since end of September, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) said on Monday, December 7, 2015.
The deaths of 23 children have been documented and independently verified, and 21 of the deaths were due to the use of live ammunition, the group said. DCIP also said that Israeli authorities continue to hold the bodies of 11 dead Palestinian children, including the corpses of two young girls. The children’s rights group said that evidence gathered from medical reports and eyewitnesses, in addition to video footage, suggests that Israeli forces had intentionally aimed to kill the children rather than injure them, disarm them, or neutralise any "threat" they posed. "[Israeli forces] fired live bullets at the upper bodies of children during clashes or fired a large number of live rounds towards children they claimed to have carried out, or were carrying out, stabbing attacks", said the DCIP statement. "The children were then left to bleed to death after Israeli forces denied ambulances access to the injured children", the statement added.
Under international law, lethal force is only permitted against threats of mortal danger or serious injury and only after non-lethal action fails to eliminate those threats. Furthermore, the additional protocols to the Geneva Convention state that injured parties are to receive medical treatment -regardless of their affiliation.
On 4 December, Israeli forces shot 15-year-old Mustafa Fannoun in central Hebron, along with his 19-year-old cousin, Tahir Fannoun, alleging they had tried to stab an Israeli soldier. The two boys were left to bleed to death at the scene according to local media reports.
The Palestinian Detainees’ Committee revealed on Monday 7 December that Israeli soldiers had put out 28 cigarettes on the body of Wasim Marouf, a Palestinian detained in Israel’s Ofer prison. "The human mind cannot imagine the kind of criminality exhibited by Israeli soldiers with a person who has a known medical condition", said the Committee’s legal affairs director, Loay Akka. Marouf suffers from a number of serious conditions, including gangrene and multiple fractures, and was arrested while on his way for medical treatment in Ramallah last week, according to the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee. Akka urged international rights organisations -particularly the International Committee of the Red Cross- to take immediate action to force Israel to stop its human rights abuses against detainees.