Israeli soldiers 'used teenage Palestinian girl as human shield' in Jenin: rights group

Israeli soldiers 'used teenage Palestinian girl as human shield' in Jenin: rights group
2 min read
22 May, 2022
16-year-old Ahed Mereb was so traumatised after being forced to stand in front of an Israeli military vehicle for two hours that she had to be taken to hospital.
Israeli forces have killed and wounded dozens of Palestinians in Jenin [Getty]

Israeli soldiers used a 16-year-old Palestinian girl as a human shield last week in the West Bank city of Jenin, a Palestinian human rights organisation has said.

The troops forced Ahed Mohammed Rida Mereb to stand in front of their military vehicle in the Al-Hadaf area of Jenin while Palestinian militants fired on them, Defence for Children International Palestine (DCIP) said in a statement sent to The New Arab.

She spent two hours outside the vehicle while the troops took cover inside.

DCIP reported that she was so traumatised that she had to be hospitalised for intense mental stress and a severe lack of oxygen.

"Bullets were being fired at the military vehicle from all directions," Ahed told DCIP. "I was trembling and crying and shouting to the soldiers to remove me because the bullets were passing over my head."

However, the soldiers forced her to remain in her place under fire.

"One of them ordered me in Arabic through a small window in the military vehicle, 'Stay where you are and don’t move. You’re a terrorist. Stand in your place until you say goodbye to your brother.'"

After evacuating her family's house, the Israeli troops fired grenades and bullets at it until it caught fire, according to DCIP.

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"Let's be clear: Using children as human shields is explicitly and absolutely prohibited by international law," DCIP said, adding that it had documented at least 26 cases of children being used as human shields by the Israeli army since 2000.

Israeli troops have launched armed incursions into Jenin on a regular basis in recent weeks, clashing with Palestinian armed factions and killing and wounding dozens of people.

The Israeli killing of Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh earlier this month in the city was met with worldwide outrage.