People stand at the site where Palestinians were killed by an Israeli reconnaissance missile in Jenin in the West Bank on December 12 (Reuters)

Amnesty International accused Israel of a massive wave of violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and of carrying out unlawful killings.

The organization said that Israel - with the world's attention focused on Gaza over the past four months - used lethal force unnecessarily or disproportionately during protests, raids and arrests, and deprived the wounded of medical assistance.

The organization investigated 4 prominent cases in which Israeli forces used unlawful lethal force, 3 of which occurred in October and one in November, resulting in the unlawful killing of 20 Palestinians, including 7 children.

The organization's researchers conducted remote interviews with 12 people, 10 of whom were eyewitnesses, including paramedics and local residents. The organization's Crisis Evidence Laboratory verified 19 videos and 4 photos while examining these 4 incidents.

Amnesty International's research also found that Israeli forces obstructed the provision of medical assistance to people with life-threatening injuries, and attacked those who attempted to help wounded Palestinians, including medics.

Erika Guevara Rosas, the organization's research director, said that Israeli forces "under the cover of incessant bombardment and atrocity crimes in Gaza, unleashed unlawful lethal force against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, carried out unlawful killings and demonstrated an appalling disregard for Palestinian lives."

She added that these unlawful killings constitute a flagrant violation of international human rights law, and are committed with impunity in the context of perpetuating Israel’s institutional system of systematic oppression and domination against the Palestinians.

At least 507 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank in 2023, including at least 81 children, making it the deadliest year for Palestinians since the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs began recording casualties in 2005.

Between October 7 and December 31, 2023, 299 Palestinians were killed, representing a 50% increase compared to the first 9 months of the year. At least 61 more Palestinians, including 13 children, had been killed so far in 2024 as of January 29, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Source: Amnesty International