At least 100 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem this year amid a massive increase in Israeli military raids, according to figures compiled by the BBC.
The number was reached as an 18-year-old man was shot dead in East Jerusalem on Saturday and after a week which saw Israeli forces reportedly firing an anti-tank missile at a house in Jenin that killed a wanted gunman and three others. It means this year is now on course to become the deadliest for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2015. The vast majority were shot dead by Israeli security forces and several by armed Israeli civilians. As human rights groups express mounting alarm, the figures show nearly a fifth of the Palestinians killed were children, the youngest of whom was 14.
Meanwhile the US this week called for an immediate investigation after a seven-year-old boy died of apparent heart failure when the Israeli military came to the family home after his brothers were accused of throwing stones. The army says an initial inquiry found no connection between its search and the boy’s death.
In August, then-UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said many cases appeared to break international law combined with “an almost total lack of accountability”. Of the 100 fatalities, most were shot dead by Israeli forces during search, arrest and punitive home demolition raids. More than half the total number have been in Jenin and Nablus or surrounding villages in the northern West Bank.
Across the West Bank, at least a quarter of the total number of fatalities took place when soldiers used live ammunition to fire at young men or teenagers in groups it said had thrown stones, petrol bombs or improvised explosives. According to the figures, 19 Palestinian children have been killed in the West Bank this year. Most of the under-18s were shot dead by Israeli soldiers during military search-and-arrest raids or anti-occupation protests.
In the summer Israeli forces targeted the group’s 19-year-old leader Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, or the Lion of Nablus, as he was known from his TikTok videos – as part of a trend for such footage to go viral among Palestinians. Early on 9 August soldiers raided the city in unmarked vans, surrounded his safe house and fired shoulder launched missiles at it, killing him and another gunman.
A 47-year-old widow, Ghada Sabatien, was shot dead by an Israeli soldier at close range after the IDF says she “ignored orders to halt”. It happened on 10 April in the village of Husan near Bethlehem. She was unarmed and a subsequent report by the UN’s humanitarian affairs agency said she was visually impaired. The IDF said afterwards it had opened an investigation into her death.
Human rights groups say they will seek to add many of this year’s cases to a current investigation by the International Criminal Court into possible war crimes by Israel and Palestinian armed groups. In August, 49 Palestinians were also killed in the Gaza Strip during a military escalation between Israel and Islamic Jihad.
Approved ~ Primus Pilus
Article URL : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-63073541