Ayed Abu Qutaish, director of the Accountability Program at Defense for Children International, said on Saturday that Israeli troops have killed 31 children in the West Bank and six others in Gaza this year.
He told the official Voice of Palestine radio station that Israeli authorities are holding 160 children behind bars, including 21 kept in administrative detention without charge or trial and based on so-called secret evidence.
Abu Qutaish added the killing and arrest of Palestinian children have escalated in an unprecedented manner, adding that the international community does not provide protection for Palestinian children and does not hold the regime to account for its crimes.
Israeli forces launch raids on various cities of the West Bank almost on a daily basis under the pretext of detaining what it 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.
More than 200 Palestinians have been killed this year in the occupied Palestinian territories and Gaza. The majority of these fatalities have been recorded in the West Bank.
At least 26 people have been killed in Palestinian retaliatory attacks against Israeli settlers during that time.
Those figures indicate that 2023 is already the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the United Nations began keeping track of fatalities in 2005.
Previously, 2022 had been the deadliest year with 150 Palestinians killed, of whom 33 were minors, according to the United Nations.
The rising number of fatalities last year prompted UN experts to condemn the treatment of Palestinians, including attacks on their homes and destruction of their property.