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From the field

B'Tselem and al-Haq warn about killing of children playing with toy guns

B'Tselem and al-Haq today issued a warning about a danger that Palestinian children will face during the 'Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday that begins this weekend.

During Muslim holidays, Palestinian children and youths play with toy rifles. According to B'Tselem's figures, in recent years, IDF soldiers have killed five Palestinian children and youths who were playing with toy weapons or fireworks.

B'Tselem has urged OC Central Command, the commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, and brigade commanders to inform all commanders and soldiers that Palestinian children are likely to be walking about in the street carrying what looks like weapons. Even in normal times, army regulations do not permit soldiers to open fire when they are not at risk, B'Tselem pointed out, adding that during holidays, soldiers must be especially careful.

Simultaneously, the Palestinian human rights organization al-Haq called on the Palestinian Authority to limit the import of toy weapons into the area, and warned parents of the danger facing children playing with toy guns in the street.

Children killed by the Israeli security forces gunfire while playing with toy guns:

Salah a-Din 'Ikab Saqer Abu Muhsin, 13, killed on 20.01.2005 in Tubas.

Muhammad Jam'an Mahmoud Haneideq, 15, killed on 17.12.2001 in Khan Yunis.

Mujahed Amin 'Aref Asmadi, 15, killed on 15.02.2006 in Qabatiya, Jenin district.

Ahmad Isma'il Muhammad al-Khatib, 12, injured on 03.11.2005 in Jenin Refugee Camp, and died on 05.11.2005.

'Udai Khaled Sa'id Tantawi, 13, killed on 30.09.2005 in 'Askar Refugee Camp, Nablus district.