CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated Adam was 14 years old. He was in fact born on 31 March 2007.
Jerusalem24 – A 15-year-old child was shot and killed by the Israeli army during a military raid on Al-Dehaisha refugee camp, south of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Adam Ayyad was shot with live ammunition in the chest and transferred to Beit Jala hospital where he was pronounced dead around 6 AM, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters, sound bombs, and live ammunition during confrontations that broke out with local youth when the army began raiding and searching the camp.
Another child was injured by live ammunition in the hand, and another was arrested by the army when they raided his family home.
According to the Israeli army’s own statement, there were no armed confrontations taking place in Al-Dehaisha when Adam was shot. Rather, the Israeli army said that “a violent disorder developed” that included the throwing of “explosives”, Molotov cocktails, and stones. The army said its soldiers fired live ammunition at Molotov cocktails-throwers “who endangered their lives”, and that “hits were detected”.
Activist Akram Shafout from the camp told Middle East Eye that the raid began with special forces in civilian cars entering the camp, followed soon by “hundreds” of armed soldiers and a convoy of military vehicles.
“As the soldiers were pulling out of the camp they started to use live ammunition, and that is when Adam was killed,” said Shafout. “It was not the ‘violent riot’ that they [the Israeli army] described. These boys are throwing rocks at fully armoured vehicles. The soldiers’ lives are not in danger.”
The Factional Coordination Committee in Bethlehem called for a comprehensive strike for the day with all commercial and public institutions closed in mourning for Adam, with the exception of schools.
Adam is the second child to be killed by the Israeli army in just over 24 hours, and the third Palestinian in 2023.
“I dreamed of doing many things, but we live in a place where it’s impossible to achieve your dream”
Adam was an only child who went to school during the day, where he was in the tenth grade, and then to work in the evenings.
“He would come back around 11.00 PM after finishing his work,” Adam’s mother told JMedia. “He used to tell me all about his school. The last time he did he was very happy to share that his teacher chose him for a task.”
Palestinian media published a photo of what his family have said is Adam’s will.
Adam wrote: “I dreamed of doing many things, but we live in a place where it’s impossible to achieve your dream. I am happy that I achieved one of them, which is martyrdom… Martyrdom is a victory… Like Nabulsi said, ‘I wish for people to wake up’, I say, direct your compass toward the occupation.”
According to our source on the ground, Adam’s friends found the will in his jeans pocket after he was transferred to the hospital.
Adam published a photo on his Facebook account of himself and 22-year-old Omar Mannaa on 6 December 2022, a day after Mannaa was shot and killed by the Israeli military during a similar raid on Al-Dehaisha refugee camp.
Adam visited Omar’s grave on Monday night in Al-Khader, a few hours prior to the Israeli raid.
11 Palestinians from Bethlehem were shot and killed by the Israeli army in 2022. Mannaa was Bethlehem’s last casualty of 2022.
Adam’s mother told reporters that her son had written a previous will, which she had torn up. “I told him that he’s my only one in this life, and to never do it again.”
“Adam used to talk all the time about Palestine and how we struggle on this land.”
Adam Ayyad, 14, was killed this morning by the Israeli occupation forces. Born and raised in the Duhaisheh refugee camp, Adam was his parents’ only child. He is the third child to be murdered in the last three days. pic.twitter.com/k1FnLc9a9H
— Laith Arafeh 🇵🇸 (@ArafehLaith) January 3, 2023
Testimony from Adam’s friends who attended his funeral procession on Tuesday afternoon said that Adam was “a very happy person”, and that they couldn’t believe the news of his death.
“Clarifying” guidelines for opening fire on Palestinian stone-throwers
The Head of the Israeli military’s Central Command, Major General Yehuda Fuchs, stated in a letter to the Israeli military on Monday he wished to “clarify” guidelines for opening fire against Palestinian stone-throwers.
“The open-fire rules are strict and stipulate that there must be ‘clear and immediate danger’ to the officer before they can shoot, and Israeli soldiers are only allowed to shoot in a ‘life-threatening situation’.”
With the killing of Adam, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers in 2023 has risen to three (two of them children) a little over 48 hours into the new year.
2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem since the Second Intifada, with 170 fatalities in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem, including 39 children, the youngest of them 6 years old, according to documentation collected by Jerusalem24.
153 Palestinians were shot and killed by the Israeli military or police, including 37 children. Another nine Palestinians died due to Israeli military intervention or medical negligence, and another three Palestinians from the West Bank were killed inside Israel. A further five Palestinians were killed by Israeli settlers, either run over, stabbed, or shot, including a 15-year-old child.