The Palestinian territory of West Bank is immersed in a growing wave of violence and military repression since the October 7 attack perpetrated by Hamaswhich has significantly increased the number of “unlawful killings” at the hands of Israeli troops, denounced this Monday International Amnesty (AI).
Between October 7 and December 31, 2023, 299 Palestinians died violently in West Bank, 50% more fatalities than in the first nine months of the year. While as of January 29, 61 people have already died, 13 of them minors, according to figures from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
In this context, Amnesty International has investigated “four representative cases” in which Israeli forces not only used unnecessary lethal force, causing the death of twenty Palestinians, seven of them minors, but in some of them they also prevented medical teams from providing help.
“These unlawful killings constitute a flagrant violation of international human rights law and are being committed with impunity”declared Erika Guevara Rosas, Director of Research at Amnesty.
One of those deaths is that of Taha Mahamid15, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in front of her home when she went out to check if they had left after a military raid that lasted about 30 hours in the refugee camp of Nour Shamsin the West Bank city of Tulkaremlast October 19.
During the operation, other 12 people died, 6 of them minors, and fifteen were arrested. According to Israela border police officer also lost his life and nine were injured after the launch of an explosive.
According to witnesses and videos examined by Amnesty, “Taha “He was unarmed and posed no threat to the soldiers.” when he was shot three times in front of his house.
“The first (bullet) hit him in the leg. The second in the stomach. The third in an eye. There were no confrontations, there was no conflict”said his sister Fatima.
A witness told Amnesty International that when Ibrahim Mahamidthe father of Tahatried to save his wounded son, the Israeli forces shot him in the back, which could be verified on video. Mahamid He suffered serious damage to his internal organs and was admitted to intensive care.
“Neither Taha nor Ibrahim Mahamid They posed a threat to security forces or others when they were shot. This unnecessary use of lethal force must be investigated as possible war crimes (behind) a intentional homicide”the NGO denounced today.
Approximately 12 hours after Taha homicidethe Israeli Army broke into the house and kept his relatives locked up for 10 hours, in addition to drilling holes in the wall of two rooms to locate snipers.
A witness told Amnesty that the soldiers searched the house, beat a relative and one of them even urinated on the door.
On October 13, also in Tulkarema crowd of about 80 unarmed Palestinians demonstrated in solidarity against the war in Loop when Israeli forces, located in a military watchtower, opened fire.
At least four people were injuredaccording to two journalists Amnesty, who were also shot despite being identified. An Israeli soldier shot another protester in the head, who later died.
In another incident that occurred on November 27 in Beitunianear Ramallah, Israeli forces “used excessive force” against a crowd of people who were preparing to welcome prisoners released from the prison Offeras part of the November agreement between Israel and Hamas.
The army used live ammunition and rubber-coated bullets against the crowd, as well as drones to launch tear gas canisters and military bulldozers, causing the death of one resident; in addition to preventing the arrival of an ambulance.
“The obstruction of medical assistance by Israeli forces during their operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is a common practice”Amnesty denounces this violation of international humanitarian law.
Israel increased its raids in West Bank occupied in 2022, and intensified them further in parallel to the war in Loopwith raids that often lead to armed clashes with local militias and leading to the highest spike in violence in the area since 2002, at the worst of the Second Intifada.