|A Palestinian boy killed and 24 other children injured in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
During the week, Israeli forces killed one Palestinian boy and injured around 40 others, including 24 children and two women. This brings the number of Palestinian fatalities in the West Bank since the beginning of the year to 49, including 12 children.
On 29 December, Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian child and injured two other 16-year-olds with live ammunition, near the main road between Za’tara (also known as “Tapuach”) checkpoint and the village of Osarin (Nablus). According to an Israeli spokesperson cited in media reports, the incident occurred after a group of Palestinian youths hurled stones at soldiers on patrol along the main road. The Israeli authorities have reportedly opened a military investigation into this incident.
The majority of injuries recorded this week (24 out of 41) were children, including nine by live ammunition. One of the most serious incidents occurred on 29 December, when Israeli forces opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle at the entrance of Beit Ummar (Hebron), injuring two Palestinians with live ammunition, including a 17-year-old who is in a serious condition. According to Israeli media reports, Israeli forces opened fire at the vehicle after an explosive device was thrown at them.
Another serious incident on 24 December in Al ‘Isawiya area of East Jerusalem resulted in the injury of a five-year-old Palestinian child, who was hit by a rubber bullet in his right eye during clashes with Israeli forces following protests against continuing operations in the area. According to the child’s parents, the five-year-old had just been dropped off from school and was standing in front of his house at the time.
The remaining child injuries occurred in additional clashes across the West Bank, including two boys from Beit Furik (Nablus) shot with live ammunition during clashes that erupted when Israeli forces intervened to protect Israeli settlers who marched towards the village on 24 December; a 12-year-old boy hit with a rubber bullet in his back during clashes at the entrance of Ar Ram town (Jerusalem), on 23 December; ten children treated due to severe gas inhalation during clashes in Ayda Refugee Camp (Bethlehem), on 26 December; and a 16-year-old boy attacked by Israeli police-dogs during clashes in the village of Beit Ummar (Hebron), on 23 December.
Since the beginning of the year, Israeli forces have injured a total of 1,190 Palestinian children across the West Bank, accounting for 20 per cent of all Palestinian injuries, compared to 1,185 child injuries in 2013. A significant number of child injuries during 2014 (280 injuries) was recorded during July in the Jerusalem governorate, in the context of clashes triggered by the kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian youth, Muhamad Abu Khdeir, and in protests against the hostilities in the Gaza Strip. Over 20 per cent of the child injuries this year were with live ammunition, and the remainder by rubber bullets, tear gas inhalation and physical assault.
Additionally, on 29 December, four Palestinians, including three UNRWA staff members, suffered from severe tear gas inhalation requiring medical attention after five tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces fell in UNRWA’s service offices in Ayda Refugee Camp (Bethlehem).