Israel fails to provide justification for December Palestinian teen killing
Israelis fired tear gas on Palestinian protestors last week, leading to the death of an 85-year-old man (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)
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Israeli authorities have provided no evidence that a Palestinian teenager fatally shot in the back in December by Israeli forces posed "any threat to life that would justify such a killing," Human Rights Watch said Sunday.
Wajih Wajdi Al Ramahi, 15, was shot with live bullets in the back by an Israeli sniper in front of his school on Dec. 7 in Al Jalazun refugee camp near Ramallah.
Locals told Ma'an that the area where al-Ramahi was shot had no clashes or any kind of rock-throwing incidents that might have provoked the killing.
HRW said that some Palestinian youths had been throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, but they were over 200 meters away and not at risk of being hit.
"Twice this year, Israeli soldiers hiding near schools, apparently to make arrests, have killed children who posed no apparent threat," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
"If the past is any guide, these boys’ families can look forward to a prolonged, opaque, and fruitless process that does not hold perpetrators to account or deliver justice."
In January 2013, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager during clashes in Budrus near Ramallah.
Samir Ahmad Abdul-Rahim, 17, sustained four bullet wounds to his head, chest and leg and died shortly after arriving at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.
Israel's military has said it is investigating both incidents, but Israel has indicted only 16 security officials for unlawfully killing Palestinians since 2000, with only six actually being convicted.
The longest jail sentence imposed was seven months, according to rights group Yesh Din.
Israel killed 27 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2013, making it the deadliest year for Palestinian fatalities since 2008.
By contrast, in 2012 Israeli security forces killed eight Palestinians in the West Bank and 246 in the Gaza Strip, including at least 167 in its November war on the coastal territory.
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