UN report warns of rapid deterioration of human rights in West Bank

Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

© APA | Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

# 28 December 2023 14:26 (UTC +04:00)

A UN report released today details the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, after 7 October 2023, and calls on Israel "to end unlawful killings and settler violence against the Palestinian population," APA reports.

The report released by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) calls for an immediate end to the use of military weapons and means during law enforcement operations, an end to arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of Palestinians, and the lifting of discriminatory movement restrictions.

The UN Human Rights Office has verified the deaths of 300 Palestinians from 7 October to 27 December 2023 - including 79 children - in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the attacks by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in southern Israel. Of these, Israeli Security Forces killed at least 291 Palestinians, settlers killed eight, and one Palestinian was killed either by Israeli Security Forces or settlers. Prior to 7 October, 200 Palestinians had already been killed in the area in 2023 - the highest number in a ten-month-period since the UN began keeping records in 2005.

“The use of military tactics means and weapons in law enforcement contexts, the use of unnecessary or disproportionate force, and the enforcement of broad, arbitrary and discriminatory movement restrictions that affect Palestinians are extremely troubling,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, reflecting on the findings of the report.

“The violations documented in this report repeat the pattern and nature of violations reported in the past in the context of the long-standing Israeli occupation of the West Bank. However, the intensity of the violence and repression is something that has not been seen in years,” he added.

“I call on Israel to take immediate, clear and effective steps to put an end to settler violence against the Palestinian population, to investigate all incidents of violence by settlers and Israeli Security Forces, to ensure effective protection of Palestinian communities against any form of forcible transfer, and to ensure the ability of herding communities displaced due to repeated attacks by armed settlers to return to their lands.”

Israeli Security Forces have arrested more than 4,700 Palestinians, including about 40 journalists, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

“Israeli authorities should strongly censure and prevent settler violence and prosecute both its instigators and perpetrators,” said the UN Human Rights Chief.

Since 7 October, Israeli authorities have imposed severe and systematic restrictions on the movement of Palestinians across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the report said.

The High Commissioner urged Israel to grant the UN Human Rights Office access to the country, adding it was ready to report similarly on the 7 October attacks.

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