Statement on the Killing of Ali Abu Aliya

December 7, 2020

J Street is deeply saddened by the killing of Ali Abu Aliya, a Palestinian boy — reportedly just 13 years old — who was shot in the abdomen by Israeli forces during a protest in the West Bank village of al-Mughayir and later died from his wounds.

It’s highly disturbing that anything approaching lethal force was used against civilians in their own home community, who were reportedly protesting a new illegal settlement outpost in their area. Palestinians have the right to protest against the many injustices of occupation, including ongoing settlement expansion — and this right must be protected.

Like the representatives of the EU and UN, we call for an immediate, independent investigation of this killing. Given that an IDF spokesperson has said that Abu Aliya was shot with a “Ruger” firearm — which typically refers to a type of US-sourced rifle — we believe any such investigation must also clarify the circumstances in which Israeli forces are authorized and instructed to use such weapons, which are subject to requirements under US law that such equipment be used for legitimate defense purposes only.

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