Dear John —
Yesterday, Israeli forces shot dead 16-year-old Odeh Mohammad Odeh Sadaqa in the back with live ammunition. The bullet pierced his heart and exited through his chest. Odeh was walking near his home with two of his friends.
Odeh is the sixth Palestinian child killed in the last month, and the 14th this year so far. Israeli forces are repeatedly using live ammunition to shoot-to-kill Palestinian children who do not show a direct threat to life or serious injury—a violation of international law.
In just the last two weeks, Israeli forces shot and killed 14-year-old Zaid Mohammad Said Ghunaim on May 27 in Al-Khader, southwest of Bethlehem. Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Ghaith Mohammad Rafiq Ziad Yamin on May 25 near Jacob’s Tomb east of Nablus. Amjad Walid Hussein Fayed, 16, was shot with live ammunition in the chest by Israeli forces on May 21 in Jenin.
This disturbing escalation in the number of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces must spur world leaders to action. 16-year-old Odeh was shot in the back: How can a child running away from Israeli soldiers pose a threat to their lives? Every time a Palestinian child is killed by Israeli forces, I wonder: Will this be the child that finally forces the international community to stop being complicit in Israeli violations of international law?
Please forward this message to your elected officials and urge them to end international support for the Israeli apartheid regime. Our children cannot afford to wait.
Ayed Abu Eqtaish
Accountability Program Director
Defense for Children International – Palestine