Nineteen children have been killed in occupied Palestinian territory just last week, the UN human rights chief has said.
Nearly 40 Palestinian children have been killed this year in the occupied territories, and in many cases Israeli forces appear to use lethal force in a way that violates international human rights law, the High Commissioner for Human Rights said. UN rights officer Michelle Bachelet said.
The UN rights chief issued a statement on Thursday expressing “alarming” at the large number of Palestinians – especially children – who have been killed and wounded by Israeli forces in occupied Palestinian territory up to the present this year.
Bachelet said in a statement: “Hurting any child in the course of a conflict is deeply disturbing, and it is unconscionable to kill and torture so many children this year.
Nineteen Palestinian children were killed in occupied Palestinian territory last week alone, bringing the number of children killed since the start of the year to 37, according to the statement.
17 children were killed last weekend attacks on Gaza by Israeli forces, and two more children were killed Tuesday during Israeli operations in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces launched bombardment of Gaza, razed buildings and attacked refugee camps across the territory, saying the attack targeted members of the Islamic Jihad armed group, including the group’s senior commanders. Palestinian officials said the majority of those killed were civilians.
The UN rights chief said the number of civilian casualties in Israel’s attack on Gaza was “very heavy”.
“International humanitarian law is very clear. Launching an attack that could inadvertently kill or injure civilians, or damage civilian objects, in a manner disproportionate to the anticipated direct and specific military advantage, are all prohibited. Such attacks must stop,” said Bachelet.
The United Nations human rights office has confirmed that of the 48 Palestinians killed in the three-day attack between Friday and Sunday, at least 22 people are civilians, including 17 children and 4 women.
The United Nations said that nearly two-thirds of the 360 Palestinians injured in the Israeli attack were civilians, including 151 children, 58 women and 19 elderly people.
‘Climate of Punishment’
Children also accounted for the majority of casualties in a number of Israeli air strikes that also targeted “civilians, causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects”, the head of the United Nations said. said in the statement.
Palestinian armed groups also indiscriminately fired hundreds of rockets and mortars into Israel over the weekend, injuring civilians and causing damage to infrastructure and civilian property, the UN chief said. Such attacks are also “a violation of international humanitarian law”.
A total of 70 Israelis were injured in the weekend fighting, Israeli authorities said.
Bachelet also said that the widespread use of live ammunition by Israeli forces in law enforcement operations in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has resulted in An alarming number of Palestinians are killed.
The United Nations Office for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories has so far recorded the killing of 74 Palestinians, including 20 children. In many cases, Israeli forces used lethal force in ways that appeared to violate international human rights law, she added.
Bachelet also called for prompt, independent, impartial and transparent investigations into all incidents in which any person was killed or injured, and she lamented what she described described as a “criminal atmosphere” and “old-fashioned violations” that fueled a “violent cycle” in the occupied territories.
She said that “Almost total irresponsibility persists in occupied Palestinian territory – wbecause of violations of international humanitarian law by all parties in the hostilities in Gaza, or because of repeated Israeli violations of international human rights law and the law of occupation in the West Bank, including the East Jerusalem, including cases of unnecessary and disproportionate use of force. “