The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR): On Friday evening, a Palestinian child lost his left eye after being directly shot with a rubber bullet during Israeli occupation forces (IOF) attacks on protestors near al-Ram village’s northern intersection, north of occupied East Jerusalem.
This attack comes 3 days after the Palestinian Child Day, which is observed on April 5th every year and reflects IOF’s grave violations against Palestinian children in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, at approximately 22:00 on Friday, 08 April 2022, dozens of Palestinian young men and boys gathered near the northern intersection of al-Ram village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, and some of them threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at a military watchtower and military vehicles stationed there.
Afterward, IOF immediately assaulted the protestors and opened heavy fire with live and rubber bullets at them. As a result, Mohammed Eyad Mousa Motawer (17) sustained a rubber bullet in his left eye while present -along with other children- 15 meters away from the Israeli soldiers. Motawer was then taken to Ramallah Governmental Hospital for treatment.
The child’s family stated to PCHR’s fieldworker that Mohammed was directly shot in his left eye, as the rubber bullet penetrated his eye. The family added that he underwent several surgeries and medical crews at the hospital was forced to remove his eye. The boy had sustained wounds in his right eye 10 year ago; hence, he is now severely visually impaired.
It should be noted that this is not the first incident of IOF attacking peaceful Palestinian protestors and deliberately wounding them in their eyes causing loss of sight among civilians, nor is it the first incident of IOF targeted attacks on protestors’ upper bodies.
This attack is only one incident in a series of IOF attacks that have been escalating since the beginning of Ramadan, including attacks on Palestinian gatherings in the Bab al-‘Amoud area, one of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City gates, within a systematic policy by the occupation to suppress any Palestinian presence in the area.
So far, dozens of protestors sustained wounds and bruises, and more than 40 others were arrested in IOF’s escalated attacks in Jerusalem.
So far in 2022, IOF killed 20 Palestinians, including 5 children, and wounded 184 others, including 39 children, in separate incidents in the West Bank; most of those killed and wounded were killed due to IOF excessive use of force against peaceful protests and gatherings.
PCHR condemns the continued use of force against peaceful protestors, including shooting at and wounding civilians, and the deliberate targeting of children in their upper parts resulting in severe disabilities among them.
PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate action to stop the Israeli occupation’s crimes and reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention and guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the OPT.