Palestinian Girl Shot After Charging Armed Israeli Guard With A Knife
There appears to be an uptick in incidents of Palestinian teens attempting to harm Israeli security personnel and officials. The latest such incident involves the shooting a Palestinian girl, 13-year-old Ruqayya Eid Abu Eid, who was reportedly shot and killed on Saturday morning. She reportedly charged at an Israeli security guard at the gate of the Anatot settlement on the West Bank with a knife.
There have been conflicting reports regarding Abu Eid's motivation for the attempted stabbing and it had initially been stated by police spokeswoman Luba Samri that the teenager was "intending to die" after leaving her home in the nearby village of Anata with a knife following a fight with her family. Her mother, Reeda Abu Eid, corrected that initial report, sadly confirming her daughter's death but indicating that no altercation had taken place prior to the shooting. Speaking with Reuters, Reeda appeared blindsided by the tragedy. She said:
Her father works in a farm and Ruqayya used to go to him. I didn't see her when she left so I expected she had gone to her father. Ruqayya is a small girl, how could she stab someone?
According to the Defense for Children International's Palestinian branch, Abu Eid's death marks the 29th such incident between a Palestinian child and Israeli personnel.
Abu Eid's father discovered her at the scene, a mere mile or so away from the family's tent in Anata. Such incidents aren't just affecting children, though it appears as if a large portion of the attempted stabbings have been carried out by teenagers. Israeli forces' response to the attacks have been heavily criticized. In an interview with Al-Jazeera, DCI Palestine attorney Brad Parker called into question the use of what he deems "extrajudicial" force. Parker said:
International law requires that intentional lethal force only be used when absolutely unavoidable to protect life, and only when lesser means would be insufficient to apprehend a criminal suspect... These measures combined with systemic impunity are amplifying an already dire situation for Palestinian children.
The foreign minister of Sweden had similarly criticized Israel and is seeking a deeper investigation into a rash of violence that has claimed the lives of 162 Palestinians since Oct. 1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried her remarks and stated that she is no longer welcome in the country. This most recent incident may very well prompt more diplomats and world leaders to come forward and request a thorough investigation of a tragic trend that has continued for months.