Israel unleashes brutal wave of violence, unlawful killings in West Bank: Amnesty

Ahram Online , Monday 5 Feb 2024

Israeli forces have over the past four months unleashed a brutal wave of violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, carrying out unlawful killings, including by using lethal force without necessity or disproportionately during protests and arrest raids, and denying medical assistance to those injured, Amnesty International said.

west bank
Mourners carrying the bodies of Muhammad Ayman Ghazawi and Basel Ayman Ghazawi, two of three Palestinian men who were killed by Israel, when undercover agents raided the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin, during the funeral in the occupied West Bank. AFP


Over the past few months, Israel has stepped up deadly raids across the West Bank and tensions have skyrocketed. In one recent incident, Israeli forces carried out a raid masquerading as medical staff.

At least 507 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank in 2023, including at least 81 children, making it the deadliest year for Palestinians since the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) began recording casualties in 2005.

The organization investigated four emblematic cases where Israeli forces used unlawful lethal force– three incidents in October and one in November – which resulted in the unlawful killing of 20 Palestinians, including seven children.

Amnesty International’s research also found that Israeli forces obstructed medical assistance to people with life-threatening wounds and attacked those attempting to assist injured Palestinians, including paramedics.

“Under the cover of the relentless bombardment and atrocity crimes in Gaza, Israeli forces have unleashed unlawful lethal force against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, carrying out unlawful killings and displaying a chilling disregard for Palestinian lives,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Director of Global Research, Advocacy and Policy.

“These unlawful killings are in blatant violation of international human rights law and are committed with impunity in the context of maintaining Israel’s institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination over Palestinians,” she added.

“These cases provide shocking evidence of the deadly consequences of Israel’s unlawful use of force against Palestinians in the West Bank. Israeli authorities, including the Israeli judicial system, have proven shamefully unwilling to ensure justice for Palestinian victims.”

Amnesty also called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate these killings and injuries as possible war crimes of wilful killing and wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury, saying that the situation in Palestine is a litmus test for the legitimacy and reputation of the court.

Between 7 October and 31 December 2023, 299 Palestinians were killed, marking a 50 percent increase compared to the first nine months of the year. At least 61 further Palestinians, including 13 children, have been killed so far in 2024 as of 29 January, according to OCHA.

Since 7 October, Israeli forces have stepped up raids, carrying them out almost daily across the occupied West Bank, Amnesty said.

Over 54 percent of the 4,382 Palestinians wounded in the West Bank were injured during such operations, according to OCHA.  


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