The UN Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) said it was alarmed by the impact of intensified Israeli forces’ operations on the right to life of Palestinians, and urged Israel to respect human rights law during military activity in the West Bank.
“Since the beginning of the year as of June 30, Israeli forces have killed 60 Palestinians, including 14 boys and five women in the context of law enforcement operations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” said the UN Human Rights Office in a statement, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
In the statement, it accused the Israeli occupation forces of using “lethal force” against Palestinians protesting illegal settlement activities.
“Many of the cases monitored by UN Human Rights Office indicated that Israeli forces used lethal force in a manner that appears totally inconsistent with international human rights law,” the statement read.
“In a number of incidents, it appears that lethal force was used by Israeli forces as a first rather than as a last resort to confront the alleged threat.”
The UN Human Rights Office also documented incidents where unwarranted lethal force was employed against Palestinian workers attempting to cross the Wall into the occupied territories.
The UN Human Rights Office also documented a number of incidents in which Israeli forces targeted the upper body of individuals with live ammunition in situations where they no longer appeared to pose any threat and in several instances were in fact running away.
In the absence of active hostilities in the West Bank, all these incidents should be analyzed through the legal framework regulating the conduct of law enforcement operations, said the UN Human Rights Office.
“Israeli use of lethal force has become a pervasive practice in the OPT, often employed regardless of the specific level of gravity of the potential threat detected and often as a first rather than as a last resort, contrary to international standards,” the statement continued.
The UN Human Rights Office reiterated that there must be appropriate investigations into the actions of Israeli forces, including transparency on their outcomes, and anyone found responsible should be held to account with penal and disciplinary sanctions commensurate to the gravity of the violations.
“As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said, this culture of impunity must end now,” it said.