Conflicts & War

Israel commits ‘extremely troubling’ rights violations in occupied West Bank: UN

Geneva, Dec 28 (EFE).- The United Nations on Thursday accused Israeli armed forces and illegal settlers of committing “extremely troubling” human rights violations in the occupied West Bank in the last 12 weeks of war in Gaza between the Palestinian Hamas group and Israeli military.

A new UN report by the Human Rights Office verified the deaths of 300 Palestinians from Oct. 7 to Dec. 27, including 79 children, in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the attacks by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in southern Israel.

Of these, Israeli security forces killed at least 291 Palestinians, settlers killed eight, and one Palestinian was killed either by Israeli security forces or settlers.

Before Oct. 7, 200 Palestinians were killed in the volatile region in 2023, the highest number in a 10-month-period since the UN began keeping records in 2005.

The UN rights report called for an immediate end to arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment of Palestinians, and the lifting of discriminatory movement restrictions.

“The use of military tactics means and weapons in law enforcement contexts, the use of unnecessary or disproportionate force, and the enforcement of broad, arbitrary and discriminatory movement restrictions that affect Palestinians are extremely troubling,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, reflecting on the findings of the report.

Turk said the violations documented in the report “repeat the pattern and nature of violations reported in the past in the context of the long-standing Israeli occupation of the West Bank.”

“However, the intensity of the violence and repression is something that has not been seen in years,” he said.

The report described a sharp increase in airstrikes as well as in incursions by armoured personnel carriers and bulldozers sent to refugee camps and other densely populated areas in the West Bank, resulting in deaths, injuries, and extensive damage to civilian objects and infrastructure.

The incursions, which continue, have resulted in the deaths of at least 105 Palestinians, among them 23 children, since Oct. 7.

The UN report documented multiple incidents of settlers attacking Palestinians harvesting their olives, including with firearms, and forcing them to leave their land, stealing their harvest and poisoning or vandalizing their olive trees, depriving many Palestinians of a vital source of income.

The report also noted that Israeli security forces have arrested more than 4,700 Palestinians, including about 40 journalists, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

“Some were stripped naked, blindfolded, and restrained for long hours with handcuffs and with their legs tied, while Israeli soldiers stepped on their heads and backs, were spat at, slammed against walls, threatened, insulted, humiliated and in some cases subjected to sexual and gender-based violence.” EFE

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