Two United Nations human rights defenders called for an impartial and independent investigation, and expressed deep concern about the lack of accountability for the killing of Palestinian children in recent years.
On December 4, the child, Ali Abu Ali, was wounded in the stomach by live ammunition by the Israeli army, during a demonstration in which Palestinians participated in the village of Mughayir to protest against construction in a nearby settlement outpost. He died after his wounds in a hospital.
According to information collected by civil society organizations and the United Nations Human Rights Office in occupied Palestine, the Israeli forces fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas, and hit the child Abu Alya from a distance of 100-150 meters, “in response to the stone throwing of the protesters.”
Abu Alia did not pose a threat …
Michael Link, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, and Agnes Callamard, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said in a statement that the killing of the child Abu Alya by Israeli forces – in The circumstances in which there was no threat of death or serious injury to these forces, is a flagrant violation of international law.
“Deliberate lethal force can only be justified when forces face an immediate threat of using lethal force or serious harm,” the statement added. The two human rights experts said they were not aware of any allegations that Israeli forces were in danger at any moment.
The two experts said that the child, Ali Abu Ali, is the sixth Palestinian child to live in the West Bank and was killed by Israeli forces using live ammunition.
The Israeli forces announced that they would start an investigation into the death of the child Abu Alia. However, the two experts noted that the investigations conducted by the Israeli army into the deaths of Palestinians rarely lead to adequate accountability.
The two experts added that civil society organizations have documented the killing of 155 Palestinian children by Israeli forces, using live ammunition or crowd control weapons, since 2013. Only 3 indictments have been issued regarding criminal charges related to crimes directly related to these killings.
In the first case, the charges were later dropped. In the second case, the soldier in charge reached an agreement with the prosecution and was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment on charges of causing death by negligence. In the third case, the soldier was convicted of not obeying orders and was sentenced to one month in prison in the military prison.
A prompt and independent investigation is required.
Michael Link and Agnes Callamard called on the government of Israel either to conduct a civil, independent, transparent, impartial and prompt investigation in accordance with international standards into this deeply troubling human rights record, or to allow an impartial and independent international review of human rights.
The statement said: “This investigation – local or international – must be directed towards ensuring that children living under occupation do not suffer death or injury when exercising their legitimate right to protest, and that the culture of impunity for military misconduct has ended.”
The two experts stressed the need for children to enjoy special rights under international law, and indicated that this “low level” of legal accountability for the killing of many children by Israeli forces is not appropriate for a country that “declares that it lives according to the rule of law.”
According to the information received, one thousand and 48 Palestinian children were injured throughout the occupied territories between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020.
(Source / 19.12.2020)