Palestinian minor killed at protest labelled a “war crime”

Palestinian minor Ali Ayman Nasr Abu Aliya has been killed by Israeli forces as he stood on the outskirts of a clash in al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah on 4 December.

The 15-year-old “succumbed to his wounds after he was shot with live rounds in the stomach”, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The ministry statement said Abu Aliya was taken in a critical condition to receive emergency treatment at a hospital in Ramallah, where he later died. 

Palestinian officialls have slammed the killing as a war crime and the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians has called for an investigation into the incident.

“This ugly crime is a war crime and a crime against humanity,” the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Israeli military have denied the accusation that live fire was used during the clash, a spokeswoman has described the soldiers using “riot dispersal methods” to confront the Palestinians who were allegedly throwing rocks at the soldiers. 

“The reports of the use of live fire during the riot are not true and claims about a number of rioters injured and one killed are known,” the spokeswoman said.



According to information obtained by the Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), Israeli occupying forces shot Aliya in the abdomen while he was observing clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces at the entrance to the village.

Abu Aliya is the fifth Palestinian minor to be killed by Israeli forces using live fire in the occupied West Bank this year alone, according to DCIP reports. 

He is also the second documented killing in the al-Mughayyir village since 2018 when Israeli forces killed 16-year-old Laith Abu Naim by shooting him in the forehead with a rubber-coated metal bullet where it entered his brain. 

According to international law, intentional lethal force is only justified when there is a direct threat to life or serious injury, but investigations by the DCIP suggest Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian minors in unwarranted circumstances, which may amount to extrajudicial killings.

The United Nations’ Middle East envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, slammed the killing in a tweet and urged for an investigation. “Israel must swiftly and independently investigate this shocking and unacceptable incident,” he tweeted.

The Palestinian village of al-Mughayyir is located near several Israeli settlements and has been the site of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the past.

The West Bank has been illegally occupied by Israel since they captured the region during the 1967 war where they also captured East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. 

More than 450,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements and outposts in the West Bank, home to more than 2.8 million Palestinians.