JERUSALEM — After a 17-year-old was killed within the Gaza battle this month — considered one of 69 youngsters killed in combating between Israel and militants — a militant group claimed him as a member, although wouldn’t say whether or not he was killed whereas combating.
The teenager, Khaled al-Qanou, was killed by an Israeli airstrike within the northern a part of the Gaza Strip on Might 13, in keeping with a press release from the militant group, the Mujahideen Brigades. It’s towards worldwide legislation to recruit or use minors in armed conflicts.
Mr. al-Qanou was amongst these pictured in a New York Times feature on all the youngsters killed within the latest battle, however particulars about his dying had not been confirmed then.
Whereas the Mujahideen Brigades mentioned in a press release that Mr. al-Qanou was killed “throughout the Sword of Jerusalem Battle,” the identify that militants in Gaza gave to the most recent warfare, it didn’t explicitly state whether or not he was taking part within the combating when he died. In 2018, the Mujahideen Brigades had been positioned on a United States blacklist that punishes financing of terrorist teams.
Momen Aziz, an official within the political wing of the Mujahideen Motion, an umbrella group together with the Brigades, declined to touch upon whether or not Mr. al-Qanou was killed whereas combating.
The Mujahideen Brigades mentioned Mr. al-Qanou was 20, however official well being data and his members of the family say that he was 17, born on Jan. 10, 2004.
The Israeli Military didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark about whether or not it purposefully focused Mr. al-Qanou.
Mr. al-Qanou’s older brother, Osama, mentioned his sibling joined the Mujahideen Brigades earlier this yr after members of the group pressured him for months to affix their ranks, providing cash and entry to weapons.
“They exploited him,” mentioned Osama al-Qanou, who added that his household was not supportive of his changing into a member of the group.
Human rights specialists condemn the usage of youngsters in armed battle, stating that recruiting them to struggle is a violation of worldwide legislation.
“Regardless of the state of affairs, it’s flat-out unlawful for armed teams to recruit and deploy any little one below 18, even when they quote unquote volunteer,” mentioned Eric Goldstein, performing government director of the Center East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch. “They need to be with their households, not on the market as combatants.”
Mr. al-Qanou added that his household was so deeply against his brother’s becoming a member of the Mujahideen Brigades that they refused to permit members of the group to pay their respects within the mourners’ tent they erected following his dying.
“We kicked them out in entrance of everybody,” he mentioned.