The ministry said in a report on Wednesday that the number of Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2023 has risen to 42, including an elderly woman and nine children, eight of them during January alone, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.
It said the Israeli regime has committed more crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territories in 2023 than any other time in recent years, adding that the new year has so far been particularly hurtful to children.
The ministry explained that last year, 224 Palestinians, including 53 children and 17 women, were killed at the hands of Israeli troops and settlers across the occupied territories, marking 2022 the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2005.
It also said eight of the slain Palestinians were younger than ten years of age, 45 were aged between 11-17 years, 108 between 18-29 years of age, 27 between 30-39 years of age, 19 between 40- 49 years of age, 11 between 50-59, and five aged over 60.
Israeli forces launch raids on various cities of the occupied West Bank almost on a daily basis under the pretext of detaining what the regime calls “wanted” Palestinians. The raids usually lead to violent confrontations with residents.
Over the past months, Israel has ramped up attacks on Palestinian towns and cities throughout the occupied territories. As a result of these attacks, dozens of Palestinians have lost their lives and many others have been arrested.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs says Israel has arrested more than 50,000 children since 1967.
The commission also stated that about 160 children are still being held behind bars in Israeli detention centers to date. Among the detainees are three girls, of whom two are 16 years old and the third is 17, who are held in the Damon prison.
Moreover, it said, more than 600 Palestinian children were kept by Israeli courts under house arrest in 2022, noting that Israeli authorities resort to house arrest as a form of punishment mainly for children under the age of 14 due to the fact that the law does not permit their imprisonment.
There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates, including women and minors, have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of the so-called administrative detention. Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.
In September 2021, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said Israeli authorities had clearly ramped up targeting Palestinian children in recent years with the aim of discouraging the Palestinian minors from resisting the Israeli occupation, ruining their educational opportunities and shaping up a weak generation.