In the past three months alone, 100 Palestinian children have been shot with live ammunition. Despite these gross human rights violations, government's around the world have remained silent on the Israeli army's callous use of live fire against children.
22 October | International Solidarity Movement | Kafr Qaddum
Evidence is stacking up against the Israeli Army over the near-fatal shooting of a Palestinian child by a soldier in July, with the release of a damning report from a British research group.
Nine-year-old Abd el-Rahman Yasir Shatawi, was shot in the head on July 12 while sitting outside his friend's house during a protest in the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum. He sustained severe brain damage and remains hospitalized more than three months after the attack.
Since then Abd's parents have been left in the dark as to why their son, who was not even participating in the protest, was shot by Israeli soldiers from a hill opposite.
9-year-old Abd el-Rahman Yasir Shatawi, who was shot by Israeli soldiers
(Image by International Solidarity Movement) Details DMCA
Despite eye-witness accounts, medical reports and investigations all saying that Abd was shot with live ammunition, the Israeli army has continued to insist that soldiers did not use live fire that day.
Instead the military claims that Abd was shot with a rubber-coated metal bullet [RCMB].
This has been challenged most recently by London-based research group Forensic Architecture, which carried out an investigation into the incident at the request of ISM.
The comprehensive report compiles video, photo and eye-witness testimonies to piece together the sequence of events prior to the shooting. Based on this evidence they concluded that, "contrary to the repeated claims of Israeli officials, the available medical and image evidence, as well as witness testimony, strongly suggests that Abd el-Rahman's injuries were caused by live ammunition."
As part of the investigation, US forensic experts were shown CT scans of Abd's brain which has over 100 bullet fragments still lodged in it. From analysing the scans, the experts said: "Although they [RCMB] can indeed penetrate individuals, and are more likely to do so in juveniles who exhibit less dense bone, they are not known to fragment, especially to the extent visible in the CT scans."
Instead the experts said the level of fragmentation was "consistent with fragmentation seen in 5.56 mm [live] rounds."
The medical scans also showed that there was no exit wound, corroborating eye-witness accounts that the shot was fired from a distance of 100-120m. "The farther away the shot, the less likely the bullet will still be travelling with enough energy to completely pass through the skull," experts told Forensic Architecture.
The distance is a crucial element as 100-120m is twice the effective distance of a RCMB round.
ISM activists present that day also witnessed soldiers firing live bullets at protesters.