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The Case of Willful Killings in the West Bank

A case study from the IHL Resource Centre brief "Law Enforcement under Occupation: The Case of Willful Killings in the West Bank". June 2015


On 15 January 2013, Samir Awad, 16, died after being shot three times by Israeli forces while protesting against the Wall in Budrus, west of Ramallah. After firing warning shots in the air, Israeli soldiers shot Samir in the leg, knocking him to the ground. When he tried again to flee in the direction of his village, Israeli soldiers shot Samir twice more. One bullet struck him in the back and another hit him in the back of the head. 

There was no suggestion from either the Israeli military or organisations monitoring the incident that Samir Awad was posing an imminent threat to the lives of the Israeli military or to anybody else. In response to queries, an Israeli military spokesperson alleged that the military had responded to an “infiltration attempt” and were “securing the fence”.[1] In addition, given that Samir was unarmed, there is no reason to believe that Samir could not have been apprehended after having been shot in the leg.

At the time of writing, nobody had been held accountable for the killing of Samir. A response to a petition to the Israeli high Court is expected early in 2016.

[1] Trigger Happy (n2) 16.