Girl Killed by Mishandling her Father Weapon in Jabalia, North of the Gaza Strip
21 December 2020
On Sunday, a 16-year-old girl was killed after sustaining a gunshot wound in the abdomen while playing with her father’s weapon at home in Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip. This incident is part of the state of recklessness and irresponsible use of weapons in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which endangers the lives of citizens, including children, and threatens their right to life.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) at approximately 19:00 on Sunday, 20 December 2020, Asma Yousef Mohammed Zumlut (16) was admitted to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, after being shot with a live bullet in her abdomen; her condition was deemed critical. Half an hour later, medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital pronounced her dead of her wounds. The Forensic Department stated that the death cause was a gunshot in her abdomen which led to laceration in her intestines and an internal bleeding.
According to preliminary investigations and the statement of the victim’s father to the police, his daughter was posing for a picture with his gun while inside the house and did not know it was loaded. A bullet was shot and landed in her abdomen.
The Medical Detective Department confirmed that there is no criminal suspension and that the bullet was shot accidentally.
PCHR points out that this incident is not a singular event, and many persons have lost their lives due to weapons mishandling, including children. PCHR has documented the deaths of five children in similar incidents: 1 in the West Bank, a little girl was killed due to her sister’s mishandling of a gun; and four in the Gaza Strip, the latest victims was a three-year old girl who was killed in front of her house by a stray bullet.
PCHR expresses its grave concern to the escalating incidents that cost civilian lives due to mishandling of weapons. PCHR calls upon competent authorities to take the necessary measure to protect civilians from the dangers of arms.