The United Nations says the year 2022 remains the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005, with 19 people being killed at the hands of Israeli forces in the occupied territories in less than a month.
The biweekly Protection of Civilians Report published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Palestine, said Israeli forces have shot dead 19 Palestinians, including three children, in different incidents across the occupied territories between November 22 and December 11, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.
A 16-year-old Palestinian boy was killed on November 22 after Israeli settlers broke into Joseph's Tomb on the outskirts of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the report said, adding that another 16-year-old child was killed near the town of Aboud, northwest of Ramallah, on December 8.
A 15-year-old girl was also killed in the northern city of Jenin in the West Bank on December 11, according to the OCHA report.
On November 29, two Palestinian brothers were killed by live ammunition in the village of Kafr Ein near Ramallah and a Palestinian man was killed by an Israeli border police officer in the town of Huwwara, south of Nablus on December 2. One Palestinian has also died of wounds sustained earlier.
The others were killed during clashes, some of them innocent bystanders, or in attacks, the report said.
In addition to the killings, Israeli forces have blocked the main entrances of several villages across the West Bank, disrupting livelihoods of thousands of Palestinians, the report said.
Israeli authorities also demolished or confiscated 58 structures, including 10 residential homes and a school, claiming they have been built without permits.
According to the report, 56 of the structures were in Area C of the West Bank, which constitutes about 61 percent of the territory and is under full Israeli military control.
Two other structures were demolished by their owners in East al-Quds to avoid the payment of fines to the Israeli authorities.
Israel routinely demolishes Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds, claiming that the structures have been built without permits, which are almost impossible to obtain. They also sometimes order Palestinian owners to demolish their own houses or pay the costs of the demolition.
UN experts condemn Israeli violence in West Bank
Meanwhile, UN experts have condemned Israeli settler violence and excessive use of force by the Israeli military in the West Bank.
In a press release on Thursday, the UN experts slammed “the rampant Israeli settler violence and excessive use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank this year, that have made 2022 the deadliest in this area of the occupied Palestinian territory since the United Nations started systematically documenting fatalities in 2005.”
According to UN figures, Israeli forces have killed at least 150 Palestinians in the West Bank this year, including 33 children.
“We remind Israel that pending the dismantlement of its unlawful occupation, Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory must be treated as protected persons, not enemies or terrorists,” the experts said.
They also demanded that Israel ensure the protection, security, and welfare of the Palestinian people living under its occupation, in accordance with its obligations under international law.
The UN experts also called on Israeli forces to reconcile their rules of engagement with international law and address impunity within their ranks by investigating all deaths at the hands of Israeli forces and settlers.
Israeli occupation soldiers and Israeli settlers have noticeably been escalating their attacks against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and other areas, in an attempt to forcibly expel Palestinians from their lands and make way for expanding Illegal Jewish-only settlements.
Between 600,000 and 750,000 Israelis occupy over 250 illegal settlements that have been built across the West Bank since the 1967 occupation.
The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.