Amnesty says some Israeli West Bank killings may be war crimes

Amnesty says some Israeli West Bank killings may be war crimes

Israeli forces are using excessive, reckless violence in the occupied West Bank, killing dozens of Palestinians over the past three years in what might constitute a war crime, Amnesty International said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

In a report entitled "Trigger Happy", the human rights group accused Israel of allowing its soldiers to act with virtual impunity and urged an independent review of the deaths.

The Israeli army dismissed the allegations, saying security forces had seen a "substantial increase" in Palestinian violence and that Amnesty had revealed a "complete lack of understanding" about the difficulties soldiers faced.

According to U.N. data, 45 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank between 2011-2013, including six children. Amnesty said it had documented the deaths of 25 civilians during this period, all but three of whom died last year.

"The report presents a body of evidence that shows a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings and unwarranted injuries of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces in the West Bank," said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Amnesty International.

Amnesty said that in none of the cases it reviewed did the Palestinians appear to be posing any imminent threat to life. "In some, there is evidence that they were victims of wilful killings, which would amount to war crimes," the group said.

After a three year hiatus, Israelis and Palestinians resumed direct peace talks last July, which the Palestinians hope will give them an independent state on territory seized by Israel in the 1967 war, including the West Bank.

Although their decades-old conflict has become a low-intensity confrontation, violence still flares regularly, with Palestinians accounting for the vast majority of casualties.

Shot In Head

The 87-page report focused only on violence in the West Bank, not the adjacent Gaza Strip. It highlighted a number of the deaths, including that of 21-year-old Lubna Hanash, who was shot in the head on January 23, 2013 as she left an agricultural college near the flashpoint city of Hebron.

Amnesty quoted witnesses saying a soldier opened fire some 100 meters from where she was standing. A female relative standing alongside her was shot in the hand. Neither had been taking part in any protest.

A few days earlier, 16-year-old schoolboy Samir Awad was shot three times, including in the back of the head, after staging a protest near the Israeli separation barrier that divides his village from its historical farmlands.

A third killing saw 15-year-old Waji al-Ramahi shot in the back from a distance of some 200 meters in December 2013 near the Jalazun refugee camp, Amnesty said.

An Israeli army statement responding to the report did not refer to any specific incidents, but said 2013 had seen a sharp increase in rock hurling incidents, which had injured 132 Israeli civilians and military personnel.

"Where feasible the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) contains this life threatening violence using riot dispersal means... Only once these tools have been exhausted and human life and safety remains under threat, is the use of precision munition authorized," it said.

Besides the numerous fatalities, Amnesty said at least 261 Palestinians, including 67 children, were seriously injured by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces in the West Bank over the past three years.

More than 8,000 Palestinians were seriously injured by other means, including rubber-coated metal bullets, since January 2011, the report said.

During this period, just one Israeli soldier was convicted of wrongfully causing the death of a Palestinian - an unnamed staff sergeant who shot dead a Palestinian while he was trying to enter Israel illegally in search of a job.

The staff sergeant received a one year prison sentence, with five months suspended, and was allowed to stay in the army, albeit at a lower rank, Amnesty said.

Three other investigations over the past three years were closed without indictments, five were closed but their findings were not revealed and 11 are still open.

"The current Israeli system has proved woefully inadequate," Amnesty's Luther said. "A strong message must be sent to Israeli soldiers and police officers that abuses will not go unpunished."

The IDF said it held itself "to the highest of professional standards", adding that when there was suspicion of wrongdoing, it investigated and took action "where appropriate".

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Oil prices climb as COVID recovery, power generators stoke demand
Oil prices climb as COVID recovery, power generators stoke demand
Turkey to open logistics centers in several provinces by end of 2023 (Exclusive)
Turkey to open logistics centers in several provinces by end of 2023 (Exclusive)
Cargo movements in Iran’s Qeshm port up
Cargo movements in Iran’s Qeshm port up
Loading Bars
Latest
Azerbaijani FM shares Tweet marking Day of Restoration of Azerbaijan's Independence
Oil prices climb as COVID recovery, power generators stoke demand
Azerbaijani judokas grab silver, bronze medals at European Cup
China's GDP expands 9.8 pct in first three quarters
Turkey to open logistics centers in several provinces by end of 2023 (Exclusive)
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken discusses Afghanistan with Qatar
1,642 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Heads of Japan major parties to hold debate ahead of key election
Israel reports rise in cyberattack attempts against hospitals
Erdogan arrives in Angola in first leg of Africa tour
Facebook plans to hire 10,000 in EU to build 'metaverse'
At least one dead, several injured in shooting incident in U.S.
UK to fund new nuclear power station as part of net zero drive
Former U.S. president Clinton released from hospital
U.S. administers 408.3 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC
French ambassador leaves Belarus - embassy
Google dedicates doodle to Azerbaijan's Restoration of Independence Day
Chronicles of Victory: President Aliyev announces that Azerbaijan's armed forces raise Azerbaijan's flag over ancient Khudaferin Bridge (VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 18, 2020
Georgian CEC calls on public to participate in October 30 municipal run-offs
Turkey expresses interest in expanding activities of Turkish companies in Kyrgyzstan
Helicopter crash kills three in Germany
As soon as possible, we will return to their native lands IDPs who lived in suffering for 30 years - Azerbaijani president
Heydar Aliyev did not allow holding of referendum on preservation of Soviet Union in Nakhchivan - President Aliyev
Celebrating October 18 solemnly or thanking someone for it is absolutely inappropriate, says Azerbaijani president
UK records more than 40,000 COVID cases for fifth day in a row
Cargo movements in Iran’s Qeshm port up
Amendments related to national holidays completely correspond to historical realities - Azerbaijani president
First VP of Azerbaijan makes Instagram post after meeting with heroes of Second Karabakh war (PHOTO)
Georgia faces fifth Covid-19 wave, observing recommendations much needed, NCDC Head says
UNHCR opens alternative route of aid to Afghanistan via Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan allocates funds for construction of Fuzuli Memorial Complex
Master plans of Zangilan, Gubadly, Kalbajar and Lachin being developed - Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijani economy grows by about 5%, non-oil economy by 20% over 9 months - President Aliyev
Large settlement will be created based on "smart village" concept in village of Dovletyarly - Azerbaijani president
We significantly brought closer day of IDPs return to their homelands - President Aliyev
Projects under implementation in Fuzuli show our determination and potential - Azerbaijani president
We will restore Fuzuli city, settlements of Fuzuli district - President Aliyev
Every person who visits Fuzuli becomes witness of Armenian vandalism and no one can deny this, says Azerbaijani president
This glorious victory will forever remain in history of Azerbaijan - President Ilham Aliyev
After liberation of Fuzuli, cases of desertion in Armenian army became even more widespread - President Aliyev
After Fuzuli was liberated it created more opportunities to move towards Shusha - President Aliyev
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva view conditions created at Fuzuli International Airport
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,896 more COVID-19 cases, 764 recoveries
Azerbaijani president, first lady meet with members of Fuzuli district's general public (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani president, first lady view conditions created in Fuzuli Central City Park, plant trees there
President Aliyev lays foundation for Digital Substation Management Center in Fuzuli
President Ilham Aliyev lays foundation stone for Fuzuli Memorial Complex, city of Fuzuli
Liberation of Fuzuli during war was very important - President Ilham Aliyev
October 17 will forever have special place in history - President Ilham Aliyev
President Aliyev lays foundation stones for Fuzuli-Aghdam highway and new “smart village” in Fuzuli (PHOTO)
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Ukrainian MPs visit Ganja where cilivians died as result of missile attacks by Armenia (PHOTOS)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 17
BSEC SG to visit Georgia today
Over 600 COVID-19 patients in Kazakhstan in critical condition
Energy Community highlights leading energy projects implemented in Georgia
First concert of Azerbaijan's trio under leadership Isfar Sarabsky takes place as part of European tour (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Graduation ceremony of Azerbaijani servicemen participating in courses held in Turkey
Heavy rains lash India's Kerala, red alert sounded in 5 districts
Share of households with internet access increases in Georgia
Seventeen U.S. missionaries and family kidnapped in Haiti
Iranian private investments in Tajikistan expected to grow
1,900 new COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
IRICA unveils data on exports of Iran to Belarus
Azerbaijan national team takes second place at Grand Slam judo tournament
8 killed, over 20 injured in traffic accident in Peru
1 deputy killed, 2 injured in "ambush shooting" in U.S. Texas
Israel's active COVID-19 cases below 20,000
At least 6 dead, 1 missing after ship sinks in Brazil
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry shares publication in connection with anniversary of Armenia's missile attack on Ganja
Information about firing of Azerbaijani army in direction of Arazdeyen does not reflect truth - Ministry of Defense
Sudan protest calls for military coup as political crisis deepens
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev addresses the nation on October 17, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 17, 2020
District Election Commissions to sum up protocols of municipal polls in Georgia
A working meeting of the delegations of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan takes place
Russian authorities say 18 dead in suspected alcohol poisoning in Yekaterinburg
UN chief welcomes unilateral cease-fire in CAR
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Work on increasing wages, pensions and benefits begins - Ministry of Finance of Azerbaijan
Official talks reasons for increase in gas prices in Azerbaijan
Post-conflict reconstruction projects launched by President Ilham Aliyev is unprecedented - Aide to President (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani IDEA signs agreement with All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation (PHOTO)
Saudi Arabia's PIF launches offshore platform tourism project
NATO Special Representative for Caucasus to visit Azerbaijan
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 17
Iran reaches grow in exports to Kyrgyzstan
World gas prices grow by 20-30 times compared to last year - SOCAR
Latvia to gift Georgia 83,070 doses of Pfizer jab
Earthquake hits southern Iran
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,681 more COVID-19 cases, 675 recoveries
South Caucasus countries need to coordinate to open communications - Pakistani diplomat
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signs decree on raising social payments
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 16
Uzbekistan to privatize public park in Tashkent
Muslims all together sympathetic with Azerbaijan - Palestinian ambassador
All news