Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) has documented disturbing incidents of Israeli forces causing critical eye injuries to three Palestinian children this year. The documented cases shed light on the escalating use of force against young Palestinians, causing grave concerns among human rights advocates.
In one such incident, 16-year-old Omar Talal Mohammad Assi suffered a devastating injury on April 24 in his village of Qarawat Bani Hassan in the northern occupied West Bank. While hiding in a girls’ school to evade confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian residents, a stun grenade thrown by Israeli forces exploded in Omar’s face.
He was rushed to An-Najah Hospital in Nablus, where doctors performed surgery to stop the bleeding and remove shrapnel from his eyes and face. Tragically, Omar lost all vision in his right eye, while the vision in his left eye remains blurry.
The report further reveals two more cases of children experiencing critical eye injuries inflicted by Israeli forces this year. On June 23, five-year-old Khaled Akram Khaled Malalha was struck in the left eye by live ammunition while riding in his father’s car in the village of Bizariya.
Similarly, 16-year-old Ashraf Mahmoud Najeeb Farahti suffered a gunshot wound to the right eye from undercover Israeli special forces in Jenin on March 16.
The excessive use of crowd-control weapons, including rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters, by Israeli forces during confrontations has drawn serious concerns.
The alarming rise in critical eye injuries has further heightened worries about the safety and welfare of Palestinian children enduring life under Israeli occupation.
The detailed documentation by DCIP serves as a crucial reminder of the pressing demand for accountability and safeguarding of the rights of Palestinian children amidst the escalating violence in the area.