Islamic Relief is calling on the Israeli government to immediately end the escalation of violence against civilians in the West Bank, with this year now the deadliest for Palestinians in the West Bank in almost 20 years.
Halfway through 2023 at least 156 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli action in the West Bank – more than in the whole of 20221 and the highest yearly total since the end of the second Intifada in 2004. At least 28 children are among those killed and thousands more civilians have been injured. A further 34 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza this year, and 25 Israelis have been killed.
Islamic Relief condemns all attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.
The number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank over the past 18 months is now higher than the combined total of the previous five years2, as Israeli military action has significantly intensified.
This week Israel launched a major offensive on a densely populated refugee camp in the city of Jenin, with airstrikes and a ground offensive causing casualties, destroying infrastructure such as homes and roads, and cutting off water and electricity supplies. Civilians, including children, were among those killed and wounded, and thousands of Palestinians have fled Jenin on foot to escape. According to the UN it resulted in the highest number of fatalities in a single operation in the West Bank since records began in 2005.
Islamic Relief is calling on the international community to condemn the disproportionate use of force in the Jenin refugee camp.
Islamic Relief calls on the international community to act to end the ongoing Israeli occupation. Palestinians living under illegal occupation in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, face a range of constant threats that put their lives at risk, exacerbate poverty, deny their basic human rights and undermine their dignity. Attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians have tripled in the past two years, with three attacks a day reported by the UN in 2023 as settlers attack civilians and destroy property and crops. As well as the rising death toll, Palestinian civilians face daily restrictions on their movement – cutting off their access to land, markets, religious sites and essential services – and many live with the threat of having their homes demolished. Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes and other structures such as community schools and water systems are also increasing, with more than 450 demolitions in the first half of 2023 – one of the highest figures in years.
1 In 2022, at least 154 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank according to UN OCHA. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reports that 156 have been killed so far in 2023.
2 At least 224 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank between 2017 and 2021, according to UN OCHA.