Shortly after noon on Monday 29 December, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened fire at Palestinian youth near Street 55, south of Nablus city, killing Imam Jamil Duweikat, 16. There were no protests or clashes in the area at the time of the incident. Following Imam’s injury, the IOF surrounded the area, bringing in more military support and provided medical assistance to Imam who had died immediately. His body was held by the IOF until 3:22 pm that day, and later given to the Palestinian Red Crescent Ambulance. According to the autopsy, a bullet entered through Imam’s back and exited through his chest, causing damage to his spinal cord, kidney, spleen, and heart.
Affidavit of Bashar Abdallah ‘Adili – Beita – Nablus
On Monday 29 December at approximately 9:00 am, Bashar, 16, met with his friend Imam Jamil Duweikat, 16, after finishing one of their mid-year exams. They walked around Beita, bought some sweets, and visited Imam’s grandmother. They continued to wander around the village and were joined by their other friend Na’el Tal’aat Thiyab, 16. By around 12:15 pm, the three of them were approximately two kilometres south of the village centre, and continued walking east. Suddenly, the boys heard the sound of gunfire near them. A bullet nicked Bashar in his right buttocks, but he was still able to run. Following his injury, Bashar turned around to escape when he saw an Israeli soldier approximately 40 metres away, holding his rifle in the air and running after him and his friends. After running a short distance ahead of his friends, Bashar stopped to help Na’el who was injured in his left leg. Na’el told Bashar that Imam fell to the ground injured, and that the IOF might have arrested him. Na’el and Bashar ran for another kilometre and called for help. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10300/2014)
Affidavit of Na’el Tal’aat Thiyab – Beita – Nablus
On Monday 29 December at approximately 12:00 pm, Na’el, 16, met with his friends Bashar and Imam near the village centre to go for a walk south east of the town. When they arrived to an area approximately 200 metres away from Street 55, they heard live bullets fired but did not see any soldiers. Na’el recalls seeing dust rise from the ground from the impact of the bullets as they hit the ground. The children immediately turned around and put their heads down to run away, fearing that they would be injured. Na’el saw Imam fall to the ground and scream in pain. He returned to help Imam, and saw a soldier on top of a rock approximately 150 metres away from him. Once Na’el reached Imam, Imam told him to run away. As Na’el was running, the soldier shot at him twice with one bullet injuring him in his left thigh. Both Na’el and Bashar were provided with medical assistance in their village, and then transferred to the Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus. They later learnt that their friend Imam died as a result of the injury he sustained. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10301/2014)
Al-Haq condemns the killing of 16-year-old Imam Duweikat and the injury of Na’el and Bashar. According to Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 46 of the Hague Regulations, Israel, as an Occupying Power, must ensure and respect the right to life of the occupied Palestinian population. Furthermore, Article 6 of both the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) recognize every individual’s inherent right to life and the necessity of protecting this right.
Al-Haq is gravely concerned with the continued practices of unlawful killing and excessive use of force carried out by the IOF against Palestinian civilians, including children. Article 3 of the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials states that the use of firearms is permissible only in the case of self-defence or in the defence of others against imminent threat of death or serious injury. Therefore, live ammunition should only be used in extreme measures and situations. As noted in the affidavits, neither Imam, Bashar nor Na’el were armed or posed any threat to the Israeli soldiers at the time of the incident. In 2014, Al-Haq documented 18 Palestinian children killed in the West Bank, in addition to hundreds of other children injured by the IOF. Al-Haq condemns Israel’s practice of targeting individuals, including children, with lethal force, and the failure of Israeli authorities to hold members of the IOF responsible for their role in killing and injuring civilians.