7 May 2021 - occupied Palestinian territory

Concerns about escalating violence and threat to children in occupied West Bank

Save the Children is concerned about the escalating violence in East Jerusalem and the threat this poses to children, including a Palestinian teenager killed in Nablus on Wednesday.

Violence in East Jerusalem has increased, with reports of excessive force against protesters in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood where Palestinians have been protesting plans to forcibly evict families from their homes. Since mid-April, over 200 Palestinians - including at least 11 children - and a dozen Israeli settlers have been injured in clashes[i]. Save the Children is concerned at reports of children being detained, injured, and exposed to tear gas in the violent events.

The killing of a Palestinian boy, who was shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition in Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank on Wednesday evening, is an unacceptable consequence of this violence.

The 16-year-old boy was reportedly shot twice in the back by forces deployed at the entrance of Odala village, where a protest was being held against raids by Israeli forces over the past few nights. Local organisations have reported that the boy died before paramedics could access him for treatment.

Jason Lee, Save the Children’s Country Director in the occupied Palestinian territory, said:

“All parties must ensure that children are protected from harm in accordance with international law. There is no justification for the use of disproportionate and excessive force against civilians, including children. Israeli authorities must immediately stop the use of live ammunition and tear gas against children, and end the detention of children under military law. They should also tear up all existing demolition orders for Palestinian homes and schools and put an end to evictions.”

“Israeli authorities should open an immediate investigation into the incident in Nablus in accordance with international standards, and the perpetrators should be held to account for their actions and promptly brought to justice. We fear that even more children could be injured or lose their lives as they face the prospect of further violence.

“The recent actions against protestors, including women and children, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is a dangerous step fueling further escalation. All sides should take steps to resolve the underlying causes of this conflict so all children are protected and can live in dignity.”

 [i] OCHA data https://www.ochaopt.org/data/casualties

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