Israel Has Killed More Than 500 Palestinians in the West Bank Since October 7th - Latest Global News

Israel Has Killed More Than 500 Palestinians in the West Bank Since October 7th

Since October 7, Israelis have killed at least 502 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

The latest killings occurred on Thursday when three teenagers – Mohamed Youssef Nasr Allah, 27, Ayman Ahmed Mubarak, 26, and Hossam Emad Deabes, 22 – were killed by Israeli forces in a raid in Tulkarm.

More than 230 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli raids, while at least 20 were reportedly killed by settlers from illegal settlements and outposts.

October 7 was the date of the Hamas-led attack on southern Israel and the start of Israel’s relentless war on Gaza, in which more than 35,000 people were killed and more than 70,000 others injured, with about 10,000 missing and presumed to be in the rubble the destroyed strip was dead.

The violence has spread to the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, where things are already tense following an Israeli campaign of military attacks and a rise in settler violence.

According to the United Nations, 154 Palestinians were killed in the occupied West Bank in 2022 after Israel began almost daily raids in the area.

One of those killed was Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by an Israeli sniper in Jenin in May 2022 while reporting on an Israeli raid there.

At the end of 2022, a right-wing extremist government under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to power and further increased the violence.

Before October 7, at least 199 Palestinians had been killed in the West Bank in 2023.

Israeli raids before and after Oct. 7 reportedly targeted Palestinian armed groups in the West Bank, part of a policy Israel calls “mowing the lawn” – eliminating any threat from Palestinian fighters before they can grow stronger.

Israel has reportedly focused on ensuring that new resistance groups without direct ties to already established organizations such as Fatah or Hamas cannot become hubs of armed power.

Since October 7, Israel has used the cover of the war on Gaza to step up its attacks in the occupied West Bank and has become increasingly bold in using air power such as helicopters and drones to kill Palestinians. Israeli forces have killed many unarmed Palestinians.

“Israeli forces have [since October 7] “has unleashed a brutal wave of violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and carried out unlawful killings, including through unnecessary or disproportionate use of lethal force during protests and arrest raids, and denial of medical assistance to the injured,” Amnesty International said in February.

The UN called on Israel in December to stop “unlawful killings” in the occupied West Bank, with the head of the UN human rights office in the occupied Palestinian territories telling Al Jazeera at the time that a lack of accountability and even incitement by Israeli officials had led to an increase Violence by Israeli forces and Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

“I think this is extremely important to underline: where there is impunity, violations will continue to occur,” said Ajith Sunghay.

The Israeli settler movement seeks to illegally populate the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem – and in some cases Gaza – with Jewish settlers at the expense of the Palestinians.

With representatives of the movement now in the highest levels of the Israeli government, many settlers appear to have used October 7 as an excuse to intensify attacks on Palestinians, betting that the Israeli government would look the other way.

Israeli settlers have repeatedly invaded Palestinian towns and villages, attacking residents and in some cases expelling them.

Last month, Palestinians living near Ramallah expressed their fear to Al Jazeera following such a wave of settler violence.

“We are terribly afraid… Most people are trying to leave or leave the city [go to] other countries if they have a different citizenship,” said one resident at the time.

Paramedics help a wounded man in an ambulance in Tulkarm in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, April 19, 2024
Paramedics help a wounded man in an ambulance in Tulkarm, April 19, 2024 [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank fear they could eventually face the same intensity of attacks and violence as Gaza.

The occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has been under illegal Israeli occupation continuously since June 1967. Its status as an occupied territory has been confirmed by the International Court of Justice and, with the exception of East Jerusalem, by Israel’s Supreme Court.

UN decisions dating back to 1979 make it illegal to establish Israeli settlements in the territory.

But Israel has built more than 140 settlements on Palestinian land, home to hundreds of thousands of Israelis. Access to the settlements is restricted to Palestinians, including those who own the land on which they are built.

A separate road network was also built for Jewish settlers – roads that Palestinians almost always cannot use.

Israeli policy in the West Bank has therefore been described by Palestinians and human rights defenders around the world as one of “apartheid.”

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