Violence by Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) and Israeli colonial settlers continues to escalate against Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem in the fast month of Ramadan and the international community must intervene to put an end to this escalating violence, said the Palestinian human rights group, Al-Haq, in an action alert.
Since the beginning of Ramadan, eight Palestinians were killed, including two women and one child. In response to a number of attacks made in Israel, the government has increased the number of troops deployed in the West Bank and launched several attacks on Jenin refugee camp, killing and wounding several Palestinians.
Israel has also decided to close two checkpoints, al Jalama and Barta’a crossings, preventing Palestinians living within the Green Line from accessing Jenin and vice versa, denying many their right to a have a family life with families split on both sides of the Green Line effectively applying collective punishment to Palestinians in violation of basic human rights and humanitarian law standards, said Al-Haq.
In addition, violence by unlawfully transferred colonial settlers and IOF soldiers against Palestinians is rising across the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), it added. Several Palestinians have been killed and wounded in Hebron and Bethlehem, and arbitrary arrests have taken place of dozens of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem.
“These violations continue to contribute to the deteriorating humanitarian situation across Palestine and reinforce Israel’s apartheid regime on both sides of the Green Line and against the Palestinian people as a whole,” said Al-Haq.
Israeli officials, it said, have continued to incite greater violence toward Palestinians. Statements such as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s call for Israelis to arm themselves, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz to “grant full freedom of action to the […] security forces in order to defeat terrorism” highlight a complete disregard for international law and Palestinian safety.
“It is likely that if the situation continues to escalate as it is currently, there will be more Palestinians killed and wounded by both IOF and colonial settler attacks over the coming days,” warned the Palestinian human rights organization, calling on the international community “to take immediate action to address the ongoing IOF attack and blockade of Jenin, particularly the collective punishment, as well as the violence, killings, house demolitions and arrests made against Palestinians in both the West Bank and Jerusalem by the IOF.”
It also called for action by the international community “to end the violence committed by Israeli colonial settlers, as well as their settlements, which are illegal under international law, and continue to expand with the support of transnational corporations, and Israel’s apartheid regime practiced against the Palestinian people.”
Al-Haq stressed: “By failing to take immediate and direct actions to halt Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, not only is the very structure of international legal order is at risk, but Palestinians, enduring and frustrated by decades of Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid regime, will continue to face systematic and intensified attacks by the Occupying Power. Words of condemnation are not enough. Israel’s long-established unlawful policies and regime of oppression will not come to an end as long as the international community fails to take concrete actions against it. Israel must be held accountable for its breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law that otherwise occur with impunity.”
It called on “the International Criminal Court and the Prosecutor to push forward with their investigation into the Situation in Palestine so that justice and accountability can be given to the victims of Israel’s apartheid regime and colonial practices.”