OPT Violations Bulletin - Issue 29 - February 2013
Overview February 2013
In February 2013, Palestinians held numerous demonstrations across the Occupied Palestinian Territory in support of four Palestinian prisoners on an extended hunger strike.
Clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces intensified following the death of Palestinian detainee, Arafat Jaradat, amid allegations of torture while in Israeli military detention.
The increase in demonstrations and the resulting response by Israeli forces has exposed children, whether participating or not, to various forms of violence.
Israeli soldiers shot and seriously injured two Palestinian teenagers at the entrance to Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem late February during separate clashes with demonstrators.
On the evening of February 24, Odai Saleh, 15, and his younger brother, Amir, 14, wound up in the middle of a confrontation between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers while leaving Aida refugee camp. As the soldiers drew closer to the crowd, a bullet struck Odai in the head. Two soldiers dragged Odai to a military Overview February 2013 guard tower where an ambulance transferred him to hospital.
Around 2 pm the following day, Mohammad al-Kurdi, 14, found himself in the cross hairs of Israeli soldiers dispersing dozens of stone-throwing Palestinians near the camp entrance when he was shot. Nearby youth carried him to a private car that took him to the local hospital, according to an eyewitness.
On 17 February, Israeli soldiers forced a 9-year-old Palestinian boy at gunpoint to walk among them while they confronted Palestinian demonstrators near Ofer prison outside Ramallah.
Since 2004, DCI-Palestine has documented 20 cases involving children used as human shields by Israeli forces. Nineteen of the 20 cases have occurred after the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled the practice to be illegal in October 2005.
On 3 February, two boys, 15 and 16 years old, from Jabalia refugee camp were shot and injured by Israeli soldiers near the border fence east of Beit Hanoun, Gaza.