A 14-year-old Palestinian boy was forced to undergo a leg amputation after an Israeli soldier shot him as he retrieved a football near the Separation Wall in the occupied West Bank.
According to Defence for Children International (DCIP), 14-year-old Mahmoud Salah from Al-Khader village was playing football with friends on the evening of 21 May, when he went to fetch the ball.
An Israeli soldier then shot him in the leg with live ammunition, after which, the boy testified, “two soldiers approached and kicked him”.
Collected by an ambulance some 45 minutes after being shot, Mahmoud lost consciousness en route to hospital. When he regained consciousness the next day, DCIP reported, “Mahmoud was guarded by soldiers and learned that he had undergone two surgeries”.
“Medical staff informed him that his left leg had been amputated below the knee due to irreversible tendon damage”.
The grim update from the international children’s rights NGO also related a serious injury inflicted on another Palestinian child by Israeli forces.
On 24 January, an undercover Israeli agent shot 14-year-old Mohammad Qawasmeh in Shuafat refugee camp, occupied East Jerusalem, as the boy was on his way to buy groceries.
“As a result of my injury, I underwent surgery, during which doctors removed my spleen and stitched up my stomach, kidney and diaphragm. I stayed in the intensive care unit for four days,” Mohammad stated.
During his hospital stay, “Mohammad was guarded by Israeli border police and one of his arms was handcuffed to the bed”. Four days after being shot, Israeli forces interrogated Mohammad and accused him of throwing Molotov cocktails.
“Mohammad denied the accusations”, DCIP reported, “and refused to sign a statement in Hebrew that the interrogator had ordered him to sign”. He was released from detention on 31 January, and remained in hospital until 3 February for further treatment.
According to DCIP, since 2014 “Israeli forces have increasingly targeted Palestinian children with intentional lethal force, often in the context of protests”.
Between January and May 2019, DCIP has “documented 55 cases of Palestinian children injured by live ammunition at the hands of Israeli forces”.