Palestinian Child killed by Israeli Forces at Israeli Checkpoint, East of Occupied Jerusalem


Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Press Release, 26 April 2015
On Sunday, 26 April 2015, a Palestinian child was killed by Israeli forces at Za’im checkpoint, east of occupied Jerusalem. According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Israeli forces could have used less lethal force against the child or arrest and question him.

According to information collect by a PCHR fieldworker, at approximately 00:15 on Saturday, 25 April 2015, while Ali Mohammed Ali Sa’id Abu Ghannam (17) was crossing through Za’im checkpoint between Za’im village and occupied Jerusalem, he quarreled with Israeli soldiers at the said checkpoint. The quarrel developed to a fight, during which an Israeli soldier fired directly at the boy. As a result, the boy fell down and bled to death. Medical crews of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) from Jerusalem and from al-Eizariya village tried to approach the place to transport the boy to hospital, but Israeli forces denied them access. Israeli forces summoned the boy’s father two hours after the incident took place. The father identified the corpse of his son that was referred to Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. The father was detained and taken to al-Masqoubiya police station in West Jerusalem, but was released in the morning.

Israeli police claimed that the victim attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at the abovementioned checkpoint, so the soldiers at the checkpoint fired at him as he attempted to flee.

PCHR has been investigating the attack, but points out that its preliminary investigations show that Israeli forces could have used less lethal force against the child or arrest and question him. Moreover, the medical forensic report has not been issued so far and the nature of the injury that led to death has not been identified.

PCHR condemns this crime, which further proves the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, in disregard for the civilians’ lives. Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions.