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Israeli Soldiers Shoot Dead Palestinian Child in Hebron; Body Mauled by Military Dog

Palestinian National Initiative

Ramallah, 04-07-07: Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian child carrying a toy gun in Hebron yesterday. 15-year-old Ahmad Abed Al-Muhsin Skafi was shot 4 times in the upper body by Israeli soldiers who then allowed a military dog to maul the body, tearing the boy’s intestines from his stomach and mutilating his right hand.

Palestinian National Initiative head Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP said that the killing was yet one more gruesome aspect of Israel’s ongoing occupation, in which children have been the all-too-frequent victims of Israeli military violence.

He underlined that for every 6 Palestinians killed as a direct result of the occupation 1 was a child, adding that 798 children aged under 18 years old have been killed in Israeli military attacks since the Second Intifada began in September 2000, of whom 198 were under the age of 12. The majority were killed by shots to the head and/or chest using live ammunition, generally indicative of a deliberate ‘shoot to kill’ policy.

Israel is bound by international law to protect the Palestinian people whom it occupies, particularly children, who are afforded special protection under the Convention on the Rights of the Child , an obligation that Israel has repeatedly violated with impunity.

Yet recurring violations against Palestinian children are well reflected in the fact that Ahmad’s killing is not an isolated incident, but 1 more in a series of similar killings. At least 5 other Palestinian children killed in such circumstances:

17 December 2001

Muhammad Juman Mahmoud Hunaydek, 15, of Khan Younis, Gaza, killed by Israeli military helicopter fire to his chest while playing with a toy gun. [1]

20 January 2005

Salah Ikhab , 13, of Tubas, killed by Israeli military gunfire to the chest whilst carrying a toy gun. [2]

5 November 2005

Ahmad Ismael Muhammad al-Khatib, 12, of Jenin refugee camp, died in an Israeli hospital of head and abdominal wounds sustained November 3 from Israeli military gunfire while carrying a toy gun. Ahmed’s organs, donated by his father, saved the lives of three Israeli children and a 54-year-old Israeli woman.

15 February 2006

Mujahid al-Samadi, 15, of Qabatya, near Jenin, mentally disabled, killed by Israeli military gunfire to his chest while carrying a toy gun during an incursion.

20 November 2006

Rakan Abed Kayed Nuseirat, 16, of al-Auja, near Jericho, killed by the Israeli military at the al-Dyouk checkpoint while holding a toy gun on his way home.

Dr. Barghouthi expressed little optimism towards Israeli military claims that an inquiry will be launched into Ahmad’s killing, saying that past investigations by Israel into its military’s conduct had been whitewashes.


[1] All details taken from the Remember These Children website (except [2]): http://www.rememberthesechildren.org/

[2] BBC. 20 January 2005. Boy with toy gun shot by Israelis. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4191513.stm