Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in Jenin, bringing 2022 child death toll to 16

Mariam Barghouti   

Mondoweiss  /  July 4, 2022

On Saturday July 2nd Israeli forces shot 17-year-old Kamel Alawneh in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin. He succumbed to his wounds a day later.

Alawneh was was shot in the abdomen and arm, and was pronounced dead on Sunday afternoon,  making him the 78th Palestinian killed by Israeli forces this year, and the 16th Palestinian child killed by Israel since the start of 2022. 

Kamal was scheduled to take his final high school exams this month, with one scheduled for today.

Israeli military jeeps raided the town of Jaba south of Jenin, sparking protests and confrontations with Palestinians in the area, during which Israeli forces were reported to have fired live ammunition as well as teargas, plastic coated steel bullets, and stun grenades into residential areas. 

Haaretz reported that an Israeli military spokesperson accused Alawneh of throwing a Molotov cocktail at the soldiers, though no Israelis were injured in the alleged incident, and no evidence was provided to back up the claims.

According to Dr. Tawfiq Shobaki, the head of the surgery department at the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin where Alawneh was treated, the teen was injured with two bullets, the first to his abdomen and a second to his right elbow. 

Dr. Shobaki also confirmed to Mondoweiss that the bullet shots were fired directly at Alawneh, exiting from his back.

Alawneh was reportedly named after his older brother of the same name, who was killed by the Israeli army in 2003, during the Second Intifada.

Israeli raids on Jenin

Since the start of the year, Israeli forces have killed 28 Palestinians in the district of Jenin alone, including Al Jazeera veteran reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed while covering an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp. 

Just last week, Israeli forces killed 23-year-old Muhammad Maher Marei from Jenin refugee camp.

Of the 16 children killed by Israel in 2022, seven were killed in the Jenin district. 

Israeli military raids are common practice in the occupied West Bank, and take place on a near nightly basis. Under Israeli military law in the West Bank, soldiers do not require a judicial warrant justifying the need to invade and intrude on private Palestinian spaces, including peoples’ homes. 

According to UN documentation, Israeli invasions happen more than 200 times per month exposing children and adults alike to army abuses and denial of right to protection, shelter, and refuge under international law.

The Israeli military regularly raids areas that fall under ‘Area A’ of the territory, which is under the full control of the Palestinian Authority, under the highly criticized policy of security coordination between the two. 

Jenin continues to be the center of confrontation and resistance against Israel’s military occupation and its control of Palestinian lives, access to resources, and basic rights and freedoms. 

Killing of Palestinian children

The targeted killing of Palestinian children and teenagers poses additional concerns to Israel’s breach of international law, and the continued disrespect to human lives and futures.

Following the killing of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy in Ramallah on June 25th, Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) said “Israeli soldiers know no bounds and kill Palestinian children with impunity.”

“Palestinian children will continue to be targeted. They will continue to be unlawfully killed without actual justice and accountability,” he said. 

Israeli forces have killed two thousand one hundred and fourteen  (2,114) Palestinian children and minors since 2000. That is an average of ninety-six (96) children and minors killed per year. No accountability measures are taken in order to impede and obstruct the common targeting of Palestinians by armed soldiers- often under the pretext of throwing stones or participating in protests as per the right to assembly and right to resist occupying powers enshrined under international law.

Another striking trend shows that since 2019, the annual number of criminal investigations against Israeli soldiers suspected of harming Palestinians has been on the decline, according to Israeli human rights group Yesh Din.

Mariam Barghouti is the Senior Palestine Correspondent for Mondoweiss

Palestinian children killed by Israel at the time of this article:

 Source: DCIP

Mohammad Akram Abu-Salah- 17

Mohammad Rezeq Salah- 17

Yamen Jaffal- 16

Nader Rayyan- 17

Sand Abu Attiyeh- 17

Mohammad Sakarnah- 17

Qusay Hamamrah- 14

Showkat Kamal Abed- 17

Mutasem Atallah Al-Zeer- 17

Thaer Al-Yazoori- 17

Amjad Al-Fayed- 17

Ghaith Rafeeq Yamen- 16

Zaid Said Ghanaym- 15

Odeh Mohammad Odeh- 17

Mohammad Abdallah Salah Suleiman- 16

Kamel Alawnah- 17