Human Rights Watch / August 28, 2023
- The Israeli military and border police forces are killing Palestinian children with virtually no recourse for accountability.
- Israeli forces should end the routine unlawful use of lethal force against Palestinians, including children. Israel’s allies should increase pressure to end the practice.
- The UN Secretary-General should list Israel’s armed forces in his annual report on grave violations against children in armed conflict for 2023 as responsible for the violation of killing and maiming Palestinian children.
Jerusalem – The Israeli military and border police forces are killing Palestinian children with virtually no recourse for accountability.
Last year, 2022, was the deadliest year for Palestinian children in the West Bank in 15 years, and 2023 is on track to meet or exceed 2022 levels. Israeli forces had killed at least 34 Palestinian children in the West Bank as of August 22. Human Rights Watch investigated four fatal shootings of Palestinian children by Israeli forces between November 2022 and March 2023.
“Israeli forces are gunning down Palestinian children living under occupation with increasing frequency,” said Bill Van Esveld, associate children’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Unless Israel’s allies, particularly the United States, pressure Israel to change course, more Palestinian children will be killed.”
Human Rights Watch researchers, in documenting the four killings, interviewed in person seven witnesses, nine family members, and other residents, lawyers, doctors, staff and fieldworkers at Palestinian and Israeli rights groups, and reviewed CCTV and videos posted on social media, statements by Israeli security agencies, medical records, and news reports.