RAMALLAH, 31st December, 2016 (WAM) — The year 2016 turned out to be the deadliest of the past decade for children in the West Bank, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) said on Saturday.

Israeli forces killed 35 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016 as compared to 26 in 2015, DCIP said in a statement.

The increase in the number of children killed this year as compared to the previous year is an indication that targeting of children by Israeli soldiers is on the rise, Palestinian News and Information Agency, WAFA, reported today, citing the DCIP’s statement.

Of the thirty children killed in the firing, 14 were from the Hebron area, DCIP said.

It also said the Israeli authorities were still holding corpses of three Palestinian children.

“Israeli forces have increasingly used excessive force to squash demonstrations since 2014,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Programme Director at DCIP.

“Intentional lethal force now appears to be routinely used by Israeli forces, even in unjustified situations, with no accountability, putting more and more children at risk,” he was quoted earlier as saying.

WAM/tfaham