The Human Rights Office criticizes Israel for killing 500 Palestinians

labiba - | Arab

Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, more than 500 Palestinians have been slain in the West Bank by Israeli security forces and Jewish settlers, according to a report released on Tuesday by the UN human rights office.

It said in a statement that Israel had used “unnecessary and disproportionate” force in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and condemned what it said was the systematic denial of medical aid.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the UN statement.

Since the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, which set off Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip and resulted in the deaths of over 36,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, violence on the West Bank has escalated.

In recent months, thousands of arrests have been made by Israeli security forces as they have clamped down in the West Bank, which the Palestinians desire to be the center of a future independent state, along with Gaza.

Israeli officials have previously stated that they are taking action to stop attacks on Israel as well as an escalation of ongoing violence in the West Bank, notably by Hamas terrorists.

Within the 505 Palestinian killings in the West Bank that have been officially recorded since October 7, during which Israel claims that around 1,200 individuals were killed and approximately 250 were kidnapped, UN human rights monitors have examined 80 cases in-depth.

According to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk, the cases examined "showed consistent violations of international human rights law on the use of force by the ISF (Israeli security forces) through unnecessary and disproportionate use of lethal force and an increase in apparently planned targeted killings."
According to a UN statement, 24 Israelis were killed during that time in skirmishes or suspected attacks by Palestinians from the West Bank.

It also stated that several of the Palestinians slain in the West Bank were minors brandishing firecrackers or stones, and that they "clearly did not represent an imminent threat to life."

The number of Palestinians slain in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers and settlers was not specified.
It stated that there appeared to be a deliberate attempt to kill given the high percentage of people who died after being shot in the upper body and the refusal of medical attention to the wounded.

In the occupied West Bank, widespread impunity for such acts has existed for far too long. Turk claimed that the climate of impunity has made it possible for the ISF to carry out an increasing number of illegal killings.

Gaza is ruled by Hamas, which is against Israel and its coexistence. In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority has some degree of self-government.

Israel's Western friends are becoming increasingly concerned about settlers' violence. The United States is among the nations that have sanctioned aggressive settlers and called on Israel to take further action to put an end to the bloodshed.

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There is no clear position from Israel regarding the ceasefire agreement