The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office in the Palestinian territories called on Wednesday for a transparent investigation into Israel’s shootings at several Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, causing the children critical injuries, news agencies reported.
The UN office confirmed in a statement that the Israeli occupation forces critically injured at least four Palestinian children with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets in separate incidents across the occupied West Bank in the past two weeks.
All injuries, according to the statement, resulted from the use of potentially lethal force in circumstances where available information suggests that the children did not pose a threat to life nor of serious injury of the soldiers or anyone else.
“It thus appears the force used was not in accordance with international law,” the statement asserted, recalling that a 16-year-old boy was shot in the chest and critically injured in the city of Al-Bireh on 29 November.
One day before shooting the boy in Al-Bireh, Israeli occupation forces shot live ammunition at the chest of a 16-year-old boy in the town of Silwad, near Ramallah.
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In addition, during protests in the Kafr Qaddum village in the north of the West Bank on 27 November, Israeli occupation forces shot a 16-year-old boy in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet.
On 17 November, the Israeli occupation forces shot a 15-year-old boy on his way back from school, causing him to lose his right eye after being hit by ricocheting ammunition in Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem.
“The UN Human Rights Office calls on Israel to promptly, transparently and independently investigate all instances of [Israeli army] use of force that have led to killing or injury and to hold those responsible accountable,” the statement urged.
“In accordance with international law, use of lethal force is only allowed as a measure of last resort, in response to a threat to life or of serious injury,” the statement added, noting that “stone-throwing does not appear to constitute such threat.”