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25 Palestinian minors killed in last three months of 2015: UNICEF

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An Israeli trooper detains a Palestinian boy during a protest in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, August 28, 2015. (Reuters photo)

The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says some 25 Palestinian children were killed in the last three months of 2015 during a wave of anti-Israeli protests in the occupied territories.

In a Saturday report, UNICEF expressed grave concern over Israel’s excessive use of violence against the Palestinians implicated in alleged stabbing attacks.

“Serious concerns arose regarding excessive use of force, particularly in relation to incidents where Palestinian children were shot dead by Israeli security forces after carrying out or being suspected of carrying out stabbing attacks,” UNICEF said. 

According to the report, more than 1,300 Palestinian children were injured during the Israeli-Palestinian clashes almost all in the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

UNICEF cited the example on October 25, 2015 in al-Khalil (Hebron) in the West Bank of a 17-year-old girl who was taken by the Israeli troops “for a search, shot with at least five bullets and killed”.

“Israeli authorities said that she had attempted to stab a policeman, however, an eyewitness stated that she was not presenting any threat at the time she was shot, and was shouting that she did not have a knife,” it said.

The report comes as witnesses say Israeli forces have adopted a “shoot-to-kill” policy during clashes with Palestinians, even in clear cases where they could be captured.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed since last October, with Israel claiming that most of them were involved in attacks against settlers and regime forces.

Dozens died by a single shot to the head or chest, a clear indication of the shoot-to-kill policy.

Rights advocates say the ruthless policy has resulted in “extrajudicial executions” of a number of Palestinians.

In this file photo, Israeli military forces arrest Ahmad Abu Sbitan, 11, in front of his school in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

UNICEF also voiced alarm over the number of Palestinian children aged between 12 and 17 held by the Israeli army.

Citing the Israeli prison service, the report said Israeli forces detained some 422 Palestinian children at the end of December 2015, the highest recorded since March 2009.

Also on Saturday, the spokesman for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies (PPCS), Riyad al-Ashqar, said Israeli military forces have arrested at least 2,000 Palestinian children under the age of 18 since last October.

Al-Ashqar said the detentions, which were made in the occupied al-Quds as well as the city of al-Khalil, constitute 36 percent of the total 5,500 arrests Israeli forces have made so far.

A new wave of uprising has erupted in the West Bank since last October after Palestinians accused Israelis of trying to change the status quo of the al-Aqsa Mosque by increasingly frequenting the religious compound.

The mosque is one of the most sacred in the world for Muslims.


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