The killing of a Palestinian teenager by the Israeli army in the illegally occupied West Bank has been termed a “war crime” and the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians has called for an investigation into the incident.
Fourteen-year-old Ali Abu Aliya was shot in the stomach during a protest on Friday against Israeli land theft in the al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah.
He died in a local hospital, the Palestinian health ministry said.
“Children enjoy special protection under international law,” said the delegation in a tweet.
“How many more Palestinian children will be subject to the excessive use of lethal force by the Israeli security forces?” it said, adding that the “shocking incident must be swiftly and fully investigated by the Israeli authorities in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
14 years old child Ali Abu Alia was killed yesterday in Al Mughair village near Ramallah. Children enjoy special protection under international law. How many more Palestinian children will be subject to the excessive use of lethal force by the Israeli security forces? 1/2 pic.twitter.com/8RHbDQhhrz
— EU and Palestinians (@EUpalestinians) December 5, 2020
On Saturday, mourners carried the teenager’s body, wrapped in a Palestinian flag, through the streets in Ramallah and al-Mughayyir, chanting: “With soul and blood we will redeem you, martyr.”
The Palestinian foreign ministry as well as the Palestinian factions termed the incident a “war crime”, adding that Israel must be held accountable.
The spokesman for the Fatah movement, Osama al-Qawasmi, said Palestinians should respond to the teenager’s killing by adhering to “national unity”.
In a statement, Hamas said Abu Aliya’s death “confirms the criminal truth about the occupation army”, saying Israel must be prosecuted.
“We affirm the need to return to the national consensus on the option of resisting the occupation, one that is capable of responding to the crimes of the occupation and stopping the escalating attack of settlers,” Hamas said.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, said: “The targeting of children and the use of live ammunition against them is a blatant and direct violation of international laws and conventions, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel ratified in 1991.”
The Palestinian Authority presidency called on “the international community to work to provide protection for our people, end the occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital”.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. More than 450,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements in the territory, home to more than 2.8 million Palestinians.
The stateless Palestinians hope to create their own independent country in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and in besieged Gaza as part of a two-state solution, but the issue of Jewish illegal settlements on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war has long been a stumbling block in the now-stalemated peace process.