Amnesty Documents ‘Shocking Spike in Illegal Force’ Against Palestinians in West Bank

by | Feb 6, 2024

Amnesty Documents ‘Shocking Spike in Illegal Force’ Against Palestinians in West Bank

by | Feb 6, 2024

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PRCS paramedic Sabreen Obeidi was shot in the lower back while aboard this ambulance in Jenin refugee camp

A new report from Amnesty International documents that “over the past four months [Israeli Forces] unleashed a brutal wave of violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.” The organization found that Israeli forces murdered children, brutally cracked down on protesters, and blocked ambulances from reaching injured Palestinians to provide medical care. The death toll for children in the West Bank since the outbreak of war in Gaza hit 100. 

The Amnesty report released on Monday investigated several Israeli military operations in the West Bank in October and November. “The organization investigated four emblematic cases where Israeli forces used unlawful lethal force– three incidents in October and one in November – which resulted in the unlawful killing of 20 Palestinians, including seven children,” the organization said. 

Tel Aviv has cracked down on the West Bank through 2023. The Israeli government that came to power in late December 2022, led by Prime Minister Netanyahu, gave an unprecedented amount of power to two ministers, Religious Zionism party leader Bezalel Smotrich and Jewish Power party leader Itamar Ben Gvir, over security in the West Bank. 

Predictably, the influence of Ben Gvir and Smotrich led to increased violence in the West Bank against Palestinians. Tel Aviv made the expansion of settlements in the West Bank a top priority, and Israel stepped up military operations there as well. Over 180 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank before the October 7 attack. 

Since Israel began its military campaign in Gaza, Tel Aviv has also escalated raids and air strikes on the West Bank. killing 383 Palestinians including 100 children. 

According to the Amnesty report, some of the deaths could have been prevented by allowing first responders to reach injured Palestinians. “The obstruction of medical assistance by Israeli forces during operations across the [West Bank] is a routine practice Amnesty International has documented for years and is part of Israel’s system of apartheid,” the organization said. “Under international law, Israeli forces have an obligation to ensure anyone injured by their forces is able to access medical treatment.”

“Amnesty International has investigated five occasions where the Israeli forces hindered or prevented those seriously injured in demonstrations and raids from receiving critical medical assistance.” It continues, “They also shot at Palestinians trying to help, including medics tending to the wounded.”

To prevent injured Palestinians from receiving medical care, Israeli forces fired on ambulances and shot paramedics. 

The report documented that Israel used lethal force against Palestinian protesters in the West Bank. Palestinians in the West Bank have held frequent protests against the genocide in Gaza. Some young men have been documented throwing stones and using fireworks, while the Israeli forces have used live ammunition. 

“Israeli forces’ use of lethal force in response to youth throwing stones is at odds with the right to life under international human rights law and international standards regulating the use of force in policing,” Amnesty explains. “Lethal force in law enforcement can only be used when there is an imminent threat to life; its use is not a proportionate response to stone-throwing.”

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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