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JERUSALEM — After a 17-year-old was killed within the Gaza battle this month — certainly one of 69 kids killed in preventing between Israel and militants — a militant group claimed him as a member, although wouldn’t say whether or not he was killed whereas preventing.

The teenager, Khaled al-Qanou, was killed by an Israeli airstrike within the northern a part of the Gaza Strip on May 13, in accordance with a assertion from the militant group, the Mujahideen Brigades. It is towards worldwide regulation to make use of 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.

While the Mujahideen Brigades mentioned in a assertion that Mr. al-Qanou was killed “within the Sword of Jerusalem Battle,” the identify that militants in Gaza gave to the newest conflict, it didn’t explicitly state whether or not he was taking part within the preventing 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 Movement, an umbrella group together with the Brigades, declined to touch upon whether or not Mr. al-Qanou was killed whereas preventing.

The Mujahideen Brigades mentioned Mr. al-Qanou was 20, however official well being information and his members of the family say that he was 17, born on Jan. 10, 2004.

The Israeli Army didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark about whether or not it purposely focused Mr. al-Qanou.

Mr. al-Qanou’s older brother, Osama, mentioned his sibling joined the Mujahideen Brigades earlier this 12 months 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 turning into a member of the group.

Human rights consultants condemn the usage of kids in armed battle, mentioning that recruiting them to combat is a violation of worldwide regulation.

“Whatever the situation, it is flat-out illegal for armed groups to recruit and deploy any child under 18, even if they quote unquote volunteer,” mentioned Eric Goldstein, appearing government director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch. “They should be with their families, not out there 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 front of everyone,” he mentioned.



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