Palestinian PM urges UN to put Israel on child abuse list after killing of teenager Jana Zakarneh

Palestinian PM urges UN to put Israel on child abuse list after killing of teenager Jana Zakarneh
Virginia Gamba, UN Secretary General António Guterres's children and armed conflict representative, commenced a trip to Palestine on Monday.
2 min read
13 December, 2022
Jana Zakarneh, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl, was killed by the Israeli military in the city of Jenin late on Sunday [Nasser Ishtayeh/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty]

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has urged the UN to put Israel on a list of states whose militaries seriously abuse children after the Israeli sniper shot dead a Palestinian girl during a raid on Sunday.

Shtayyeh made the appeal to Virginia Gamba, the UN secretary-general's children and armed conflict representative, who visited the Palestinian territories on Monday, Wafa news agency reported.

This annual UN list applies to abuses perpetrated during war.

Israeli forces killed Jana Zakarneh, 16, in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin late on Sunday.

She was alone on the roof of her home looking for her cat when an Israeli sniper positioned in an empty building targeted her, relatives told AFP.

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"She went up [to the roof] to fetch her cat and never came back, so her brother went up to look for her; he opened the door and found Jana lying here on her back," said Jana's uncle, 28-year-old Yasser Mahmoud Zakarneh.

The Israeli army said its forces "unintentionally" shot Jana dead during a raid in which they came under fire.

However, Salah Al-Zayed, a cousin and neighbour of Jana, rejected Israeli claims she was shot accidentally, saying she was far from the battlefield and there were no fighters nearby.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price at a press briefing expressed "profound condolences" to Jana's family, calling her death a "tragic incident".

"It is a heartbreaking incident any time you hear of a civilian being killed in these types of operations," he told reporters, saying he understands the Israeli army is investigating.

"We hope to see accountability in this case. I did note that outgoing [Israeli] Prime Minister [Yair] Lapid did offer his condolences to the family of Jana Zakarneh," Price said.

Jana was the 36th Palestinian child that Israel killed this year and the 224th Palestinian overall to lose their life.

Agencies contributed to this report.