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More than 500 Palestinians killed in occupied West Bank: UN human rights chief

Two of the latest deaths were Ahmed Ashraf Hamidat, 16, and Mohammed Musa Al Bitar, 17, both shot “at a distance of about 70 meters while fleeing after throwing rocks and/or Molotov cocktails at one[n Israeli] military post outside a settlement near Aqabat Jaber, CCTV footage shows,” the Office of the High Commissioner said, OHCHR.

OHCHR said the deaths of these young men, along with the killing of four more Palestinians by the Israeli army on Monday, brought the total number of Palestinians killed to 505, since the terrorist attacks led by Hamas in southern Israel sparked the war in Gaza.

During the same period, 24 Israelis, eight of whom were members of the Israel Security Forces, were killed in the West Bank and Israel in clashes or alleged attacks by Palestinians from the West Bank.

‘Unprecedented bloodshed’

“As if the tragic events in Israel and then Gaza over the past eight months were not enough, the people of the occupied West Bank are suffering day after day of unprecedented bloodshed. It is incomprehensible that so many lives were taken in such a wanton way,The High Commissioner said.

“Wide-scale killing, destruction and human rights violations are unacceptable and must stop immediately. Israel must not only adopt but also enforce rules of engagement that are fully consistent with applicable human rights norms and standards,” Mr. Türk continued. “Every allegation of unlawful killing must be thoroughly and independently investigated and Those responsible must be held accountable.”

Lethal force, first resort

The United Nations human rights chief noted that killings of Palestinians reached a “record high” in the first nine months of last year, only increasing “sharply” after the October 7 attacks by militants led by Hamas left about 1,250 people dead and more. More than 250 people were held hostage.

“Since the beginning of 2024, nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed by ISF, compared to 113 and 50 killed during the same period in 2023 and 2022,” said a statement from the office of the UN human rights chief. ”.

And although there has been no armed conflict in the occupied West Bank, the ISF has carried out at least 29 operations “involving air strikes by aircraft or drones and the firing of surface-to-surface missiles at refugee camps and other densely populated areas,” it continued.

During these operations, 164 Palestinians were killed, including 35 childrenaccording to OHCHR, pointing to the “proportion” of Palestinian victims who were shot in the upper body and denied medical assistance.

This shows “an intent to kill in violation of the right to life, rather than a phased use of force and an attempt to de-escalate the situation…in which case the shots were clearly not imminent threat to life,” the United Nations human rights office said.


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