Over 520 Palestinians killed in West Bank since start of Gaza war: UN

The United Nations has reported that more than 520 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the outbreak of Israel's war on the Gaza Strip.

Deputy spokesman Farhan Haq stressed at a news conference that the situation “continues to escalate, amid ongoing violence by Israeli forces and settlers”.

“Since 7 October, more than 520 Palestinians, nearly a quarter of them children, have been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Almost three-quarters of those fatalities occurred during operations by Israeli forces. During the same period, more than 5,200 Palestinians were injured in these areas,” he said.

Haq noted that 960 attacks were reported in the same period in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Regarding the Gaza Strip, Haq highlighted difficulties in accessing health care.

Despite the challenges, he added humanitarian workers provided health care services to 280,000 people in Gaza every week.

He cited ongoing difficulties in aid distribution due to fighting, road destruction, and restrictions in entry areas, emphasizing the critical need for aid to alleviate hunger conditions.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club announced Wednesday Israel has arrested 9,170 Palestinians from the West Bank since the outbreak of the war in Gaza on Oct. 7 last year.

“Israeli occupation authorities, after 250 days of the genocidal war, continue to escalate systematic arrest campaigns that have targeted more than 9,170 detainees from the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in addition to thousands from Gaza,” it said in a statement.

“The occupation has committed horrific crimes” against prisoners leading to at least 18 deaths, while it is estimated that “dozens of detainees from Gaza have been martyred”.

“The occupation recently said in an investigative report that 36 detainees from Gaza have been martyred, and until today, it refuses to disclose their identities or circumstances of death,” it added.

The club also pointed out that 310 women and at least 640 children have been detained.

It confirmed that “the number of journalists arrested is about 85, with 52 remaining in detention, including 14 journalists from Gaza.”

“Among those detained, six female journalists are held either under administrative detention or on charges claimed by the occupation as incitement.”

It also noted that “the number of administrative detention orders has reached about 6,627.”

Administrative detention is an Israeli military order allowing detention without charge, extending up to six months and renewable.

The Prisoners’ Club said “the issue of Gaza detainees is currently the main challenge for human rights organizations, especially with the continued practice of enforced disappearance by the occupation against the majority of detainees from Gaza and its refusal to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit them and check their detention conditions.”

Regarding the torture of detainees, the club stated that “methods of mistreatment include thirst, hunger and the deprivation of all basic life necessities.”

“The spread of skin diseases among detainees has emerged, particularly scabies, due to the lack of hygiene conditions, especially since the prison administration withdrew clothing and left each detainee with only one set of clothes, adopting a policy of overcrowding,” it added.

The Prisoners’ Club called for an “investigation under international supervision into the serious crimes and violations committed against detainees and prisoners in the occupation’s prisons and camps.”

Tensions have been high across the occupied West Bank since Israel launched a deadly military offensive against the Gaza Strip which has killed more than 37,200 people following an attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7 last year.

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