Full Story: A 16-Old Palestinian Girl Used as a 'Shield' by Israeli Soldiers

Published May 22nd, 2022 - 08:44 GMT
Ahed (twitter.com)

ALBAWABA - Israeli soldiers used a 16-year-old Palestinian girl as a human shield in an Israeli military attack on the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank last week. This is according to a report by the Defense for Children International as quoted in the Palestine Chronicle.

The English news website states that Ahed Mohammad Rida Mereb, 16, was forced by Israeli soldiers to stand in front of a military vehicle on May 13 around 8 a.m., in the Al Hadaf neighborhood of Jenin during clashes with Palestinian resistance fighters. Ahed was ordered to stand outside the military vehicle for around two hours while they sat inside.

“International law is explicit and absolutely prohibits the use of children as human shields by armed forces or armed groups,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at Defense for Children International – Palestine. “Israeli forces intentionally putting a child in grave danger in order to shield themselves constitutes a war crime,” the Palestine Chronicle quoted him as saying.

It added that Israeli forces besieged Ahed’s home around 6 a.m. on May 13 to arrest her 20-year-old brother and they ordered her parents, and her two younger brothers out of the house and to move to a yard across the street. The forces exchanged fire with Ahed’s older brother, who remained in the house. Around 8 a.m., an Israeli military vehicle came under gunfire, which is when Israeli forces ordered Ahed to stand outside the military vehicle it was reported. 

“Bullets were being fired at the military vehicle from all directions,” Ahed told DCIP. “I was trembling and crying and shouting to the soldiers to remove me because the bullets were passing over my head, but one of them ordered me in Arabic through a small window in the military vehicle, “Stay where you are and don’t move. You’re a terrorist. Stand in your place until you say goodbye to your brother.”

Ahed tried to tilt her head to the side to dodge the bullets, but one of the Israeli soldiers ordered her to stand up straight, according to information collected by DCIP. Ahed stood in front of the Israeli military vehicle for about two hours before running to a nearby tree and collapsing on the ground, DCIP said, it was reported. 

Around two hours later, Israeli forces evacuated Ahed’s two-story house, where she lived with her parents, three brothers, grandparents, two uncles and their wives, and their eight children ranging in age from one to 11 years old, DCIP added. After the family was evacuated, Israeli forces bombed the house with rocket-propelled grenades, which caused the house to catch on fire. Israeli forces also shot live ammunition at the house, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

Israeli forces withdrew from Ahed’s neighborhood around 11 a.m. She learned that Israeli forces arrested her older brother and that neighborhood residents posted on social media that she was being used as a human shield by Israeli forces, which led the Palestinian gunmen to stop shooting at the Israeli military vehicle.


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