In a new crime of excessive use of force on Wednesday evening, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed a Palestinian child and wounded one of his relatives during a protest and clashes near Odala Checkpoint, southeast of Nablus. According to information obtained by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), IOF delayed the arrival of ambulances at the area and that there was no danger or threat to the lives of the Israeli soldiers which would require lethal force.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 21:30, a number of civilians gathered in the center of Odala village, southeast of Nablus, to protest against IOF’s incursion into ‘Aqraba village and the closure imposed on their village for 2 days. The protesters headed to the checkpoint established on the bypass road at the main entrance to Odala village and threw stones at the soldiers stationed there. Clashes broke out and IOF fired teargas canisters and live bullets at the protesters. As a result, Sa’id Yousif Mohammed ‘Odeh (16), who was few meters away from the soldiers, was wounded and then directly arrested; most of the protesters did not notice his arrest. Also, his 24-year-old cousin was wounded with a bullet in his back and the protesters were able to drag him to safety and put him in a civilian car to drive him to a nearby clinic in Bita village. The protesters informed the PRCS that there is an injured person in the clinic, without knowing of the Odeh’s injury and arrest. When a PRCS ambulance arrived at Odala Checkpoint, IOF held them for 15 minutes before allowing them to cross the checkpoint at Odala village entrance. The ambulance arrived at Bita Clinic, and Odeh’s injured cousin told them that his cousin, Sa’id Odeh, was wounded as well but arrested by the IOF. Another ambulance headed to the checkpoint but was held for 15 minutes by IOF. The ambulance was then allowed to take the child’s corpse from the Israeli ambulance. The corpse was taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus, where it was found that he was injured with two bullets; one in the right side of his back and exited the left side of the waist and the other in the right shoulder, causing his death as stated by the physician who examined him to PCHR’s fieldworker.
PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate action in order to stop IOF’s crimes and protect Palestinian civilians. PCHR reiterates its call on the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e. to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.