Soldiers’ refusal to abide by open-fire regulations result in serious injury to children

The ongoing use of force against children continues in occupied Palestine, with children continually falling victim to serious injury. A young boy, South of Hebron, loses an eye when he is hit by a rubber-coated steel bullet in the face: 

 

(MaanImages)
 
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot 6-year-old Musab al-Sarahneh in the eye in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron early last week, his family reported. 

The boy lost his right eye after Israeli forces opened fire on the car he was traveling in with rubber-coated steel bullets, according to the family’s account. 

At the time, last Friday, Musab was sitting in a car holding his mother’s hand as they made their way home, his family says. Read more here.

 
Defence for Children International – Palestine interviewed a number of children that have been injured through the lax enforcement of open-fire regulations by the Israeli military. As serious injuries continue to be inflicted on children, there is little recourse to seek justice when soldiers disobey their regulations. In fact, of all complaints filed against the army, only 5% have led to indictments. The following article goes into more depth about the rules of engagement, and tells the story of Atta, who was shot directly, while retrieving his school bag, and the tragedy that unfolded:

 

The bullet struck Atta Sabah, 12, in the stomach and exited through his back, severing his spinal cord and causing paralysis from the waist down.

 

With high numbers of demonstrations occurring throughout the West Bank during the first six months of 2013, lax enforcement of the Israeli army’s open-fire regulations has led to increased violence against Palestinian civilians and has perpetuated impunity.

 

The regulations allow soldiers to use live ammunition “only under circumstances of real mortal danger,” according to a recent report by B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group.

 

Israeli forces are prohibited from firing rubber-coated metal bullets at women and children. Where firing rubber-coated metal bullets is allowed, police and military procedures state that they must only be fired from a distance of 50-60 meters (165 – 195 feet) and at the legs of people.The regulations prohibit directly targeting demonstrators with tear-gas canisters. Read the full story here

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