Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: IOF Willfully Kill a Palestinian Child in al-Jalazoun Refugee Camp, North of Ramallah

2 September 2009

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the willful killing of a 15-year-old Palestinian child by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). The attack occurred Monday, 31 August 2009, near the entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.

According to investigations conduced by PCHR, at approximately 21:30 on Monday, 31 August 2009, IOF troops stationed at a military observation tower inside “Beit Eil” settlement, north of Ramallah, opened fire at five Palestinian children who were near al-Jalazon UNRWA School, located near the southeastern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp. One of the children, 15-year-old Mohammed Riad Nayef ‘Elayan, was wounded by three bullets to the chest. An ambulance from Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Ramallah attempted to reach the area. However, the ambulance was stopped by at least 30 soldiers who prevented the medical crew from attending to the wounded child. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered on the spot and attempted to help the wounded child, but Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters at the crowd. The ambulance driver, Usama Hassan Ibrahim al-Najjar, 37, was hit by a tear gas canister to the left leg. ‘Ali Ahmed Mohammed Nakhla, 29, also sustained similar injuries.

Mohammed was left bleeding for approximately an hour. At approximately 22:30, IOF transferred the child to Beit El settlement where he was evacuated by a helicopter to Hadasa ‘Ein Karem Hospital in West Jerusalem. In the early morning, Israeli sources declared that the child had succumbed to his wounds. IOF have continued to hold the child’s body. IOF arrested the four children who were with ‘Elayan and kept them detained in Beit El settlement untill 03:00 on Tuesday, 1 September 2009. One of the released children informed PCHR that the children were walking normally in the street where the attack took place and that they suddenly found themselves under Israeli gunfire. The boy said that when Israeli soldiers saw the wounded child falling onto the ground, they rushed to the scene and arrested his companions. The soldiers left the boy bleeding without offering him any medical aid.

PCHR strongly condemns the murder of a child by IOF, and:

1. Reiterates condemnation of this latest crime, which is part of a series of crimes committed by IOF in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

2. Calls upon the international community to promptly and urgently take action in order to stop such crimes, and renews its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations and provide protection to Palestinian civilians in the OPT.