Palestinian deaths toll in West Bank hits 100 this year

October 2, 2022 5:36 am

[Source: Reuters]

At least 100 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem this year amid a massive increase in Israeli military raids, according to figures compiled by the BBC.

The number was reached as an 18-year-old man was shot dead in East Jerusalem on Saturday and after a week which saw Israeli forces reportedly firing an anti-tank missile at a house in Jenin that killed a wanted gunman and three others.

It means this year is now on course to become the deadliest for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2015.

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The vast majority were shot dead by Israeli security forces and several by armed Israeli civilians.

In a small number of cases the source of gunfire – Israeli or Palestinian – is disputed, while one man was shot dead during an arrest raid carried out by Palestinian security forces.

As human rights groups express mounting alarm, the figures show nearly a fifth of the Palestinians killed were children, the youngest of whom was 14.

Meanwhile the US this week called for an immediate investigation after a seven-year-old boy died of apparent heart failure when the Israeli military came to the family home after his brothers were accused of throwing stones. The army says an initial inquiry found no connection between its search and the boy’s death.

The list of fatalities includes gunmen from militant groups, teenagers and young men shot after reportedly throwing stones or petrol bombs, unarmed civilians and bystanders, protesters and anti-settlement activists, and individuals carrying out alleged knife attacks or using other weapons against Israeli soldiers or civilians.

Palestinian officials have accused Israel of carrying out “field executions”, while the period also saw the worst wave of violence against Israelis in years.

In the spring, a spate of deadly attacks by Arab Israelis and Palestinians killed 16 Israelis and two foreigners, after which near nightly army raids have taken place in the West Bank as Israeli officials said they would aggressively counter a growing terrorism threat.

Their pace has stoked fears of a much wider flare-up, with the Israeli military accused of routinely using excessive force and collective punishment, while security forces of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) have been losing their grip to armed groups whose firepower has grown to levels unmatched in years.

The raids frequently spark gunfights with young, newly-armed militants in densely populated areas of Jenin and Nablus.

Israeli and Palestinian officials blame each other for the security collapse in the northern West Bank.