Wednesday, June 19, 2024

UN says number of Palestinians killed by Israel so far in 2023 exceeds previous year

The United Nations has announced the number of Palestinians killed in the occupied territories by Israeli soldiers so far this year has surpassed that of the whole year of 2022.

The biweekly Protection of Civilians Report published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Palestine said that Israeli forces have shot dead 13 Palestinians in the West Bank between July 25 and August 10, including three children, bringing this year’s total number of Palestinians killed to 167, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

This surpasses last year’s figure of 155, which was already the highest number of fatalities in the West Bank since 2005, the report added.

According to the OCHA report, a Palestinian man was also shot dead during a settler attack on the village of Burqa, east of the city of Ramallah, on August 4, bringing the number of Palestinians killed by settlers in the West Bank and East al-Quds to seven.

The report added that 276 Palestinians, including at least 60 children, were injured by Israeli forces between July 25 and August 7. At the same time, six Palestinians, including one child, were injured by Israeli settlers.

Since the beginning of the year, 683 Palestinians have been injured by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces in the West Bank, which is more than double the equivalent period in 2022, the report said.

OCHA also noted that Israeli settlers have damaged Palestinian property in 14 instances across the West Bank, with the UN recording 591 settler-related incidents resulting in Palestinian casualties, property damage, or both in the first six months of 2023.

Israeli authorities have also demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 56 structures in East al-Quds and Area C of the West Bank, displacing 23 Palestinians, including 12 children.

Tensions have been high across the occupied West Bank for the past year and a half, with the Israeli military carrying out near-nightly raids and the Palestinians carrying out retaliatory attacks.

Israeli settlers have also noticeably escalated attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in recent months.

More than 700,000 Israelis live in 279 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The United Nations Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

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