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2022 becomes the deadliest year for Palestinian children in the West Bank in over 15 years 

24 November – The number of children killed by Israeli security forces and settlers[1] in the occupied West Bank has doubled this year to 34[2], following the shooting of two teenage boys in consecutive days, Save the Children said today.

The killing of 17-year-old Mahmoud al-Sadi while he was on his way to school on Monday, and of 16-year-old Ahmad Shehadeh during a late-night raid in Nablus on Tuesday, makes this the deadliest year for children living in the West Bank since 2006.[3] 

On Wednesday morning, a 15-year-old Israeli-Canadian teenager was also killed and over a dozen people injured in two separate explosions in Jerusalem.

Violence in the West Bank has flared up in recent months, with a rapid expansion of Israeli settlements, a sharp rise in Israeli military raids across the occupied West Bank, as well as Palestinian attacks. In addition to being caught-up in the violence, Palestinian families have been subjected to movement restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities, disrupting their access to essential services.   

Jason Lee, Country Director for Save the Children in the occupied Palestinian territory, said:  

It is unacceptable that there is continued use of lethal force against children. So far, 34 Palestinian children in the West Bank have lost their lives in 2022, in what has become the deadliest year for children in more than 15 years. One Israeli child was reportedly also killed in an attack just yesterday morning. Once again, children are paying the heaviest price for a conflict they have no control over. 

“The escalating violence witnessed in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel is deeply alarming as it threatens children’s lives and wellbeing. A culture of impunity will only serve to continue cycles of violence. This has to stop. Without steps being taken to de-escalate the situation, children will continue to pay the price. 

Under international law, children have special protection and must be protected from violence at all times. Every action necessary must be taken to keep children safe.” 

Save the Children is calling for an immediate end of the use of live ammunition against children by Israeli forces. At the same time, we are calling for an immediate, independent investigation into – and accountability for – the killing of all children. All parties must seek to de-escalate the situation and break this current cycle of violence, as the best way to ensure the protection of children and restore hope for their future.  

Notes to editors 

Save the Children has been working with Palestinian children since the 1950s, with a permanent presence in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 1973. Our team works across the oPt, with over 30 partners, to ensure children survive, have a chance to learn, are protected from all types of abuse, and that all actors remain committed to fulfilling the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). 

[1] Of the 34 children killed in West Bank violence in 2022, 32 have been confirmed to have been killed by Israeli forces, 1 by an Israeli settler, and 1 was shot by both an Israeli settler and soldier.  

[2] According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 17 Palestinian children were killed in the West Bank in 2021. 

[3] UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) database from 2008 – 2022:   https://www.ochaopt.org/data/casualties

For further enquiries please contact:    media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44(0)7831 650409