The Israeli army kills another Palestinian teenager

The Israeli army kills another Palestinian teenager
Imam Jamil Dweikat was killed by an Israeli soldier using live ammunition near a Nablus checkpoint. His family await a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.
3 min read
14 January, 2015
Israeli soldiers appear to prevent Palestinians reaching Imam's body, 29 December 2014 [Anadolu]

Imam Jamil Dweikat was the 11th Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces with live ammunition in the West Bank in the past year, according to the Electronic Intifada's Ali Abunimah.

On 29 December, the 16-year-old went for a walk with his friend Wael, to a spot they liked on the outskirts of Bieta, a town near Nablus where they lived, when an Israeli soldier stationed nearby started shooting at them.

A bullet tore through Imam's heart.

When Wael tried to help him, Imam told him to escape. Wael fled, looking for an ambulance to save his friend, but the Israeli soldier shot Wael in the leg.

Wael managed to hobble to the main street and stop a car, alerting the driver to his friend's injury, but it was too late. An ambulance was sent, but Imam had already died.

Israel targets Palestinian children deliberately and does not want them to grow up.
- Dweikat family statement

The Israeli army said Imam and his friend were throwing stones at passing settlers' cars, a claim Wael denied categorically.

Imam's family said Israeli military officials were hoping to justify a crime committed against a boy who merely wanted to go for a walk out of town, and who ended up near the Israeli army Zatara checkpoint separating the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Ramallah.

Israel's Channel Seven TV, "Arutz Sheva", reported that the Israeli soldiers staffing the checkpoint chased two youths and shot in their direction, wounding a Palestinian youth that an Israeli ambulance team tried to treat.

A short time later, the Israeli army announced they boy's death, while a military source claimed that a military investigation of the incident would be opened.

This inquiry has yet to report back to the public - if it ever even began an investigation. The Israeli authorities appear to have avoided taking any action to hold their soldiers responsible for the killing of a Palestinian.

Several Palestinians have been killed at the Zatara checkpoint over the past year, and the Israeli army has alleged that all of them had tried to attack soldiers based there.

The Dweikat family want an international prosecutor to take on the Israeli army for killing their son. "Israel targets Palestinian children deliberately and does not want them to grow up," the family said in a statement.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in front of the Rafidya Hospital in Nablus, where Imam's was held as his wounded friend was being treated.

Systematic discrimination

Palestinians accuse occupying authorities of racist practices at the Zatara checkpoint, one of 600 military checkpoints erected by the Israeli army across the West Bank that suffocate Palestinians. These checkpoints, analysts say, divide the West Bank into discrete cantons, isolated islands of towns and villages with little to no contiguous shared area between them to call a homeland.

The Palestinian governor of Nablus, Akram Rjoub, said the Israeli authorities committed crimes against the Palestinian people then created pretexts to justify them.

He said that Imam Dweikat was killed unjustly and treacherously, but said the occupation would never be able to justify its crime.

"They kill Palestinians just because they are Palestinians," he said. "The crime of killing the boy Imam Dweikat in cold blood proves that the occupation does not accept any peace proposal."

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.