The Palestinian human rights organization, Al-Haq, on Tuesday 19 April called on the international community to take immediate effective measures to halt escalating Israeli violence against Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Al-Haq has expressed in a statement its alarm at the rising escalation in attacks against Palestinians currently taking place. Letters have been dispatched to the United Nations Security Council, as well as the wider international community, addressing the violence by both the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) and illegally transferred colonial settlers, currently taking place in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
“Since the start of the holy month of Ramadan on 2 April 2022, Al-Haq has monitored a worrying increase in killings, excessive use of force, settler colonial violence, attacks on holy sites and worshippers, and collective punishment measures against Palestinians including widespread raids, arbitrary arrests, and movement restrictions,” it said.
It said that the IOF shot and killed 17 Palestinians in the West Bank since the start of Ramadan, two of them were women. Ghada Ibrahim Sabateen, 45, a widow and mother of six children was shot and killed by IOF on the 10 April, in Husan, near Bethlehem. She was unarmed and posed no threat to the Israeli soldiers. Maha Kazem, 25, was shot and killed by IOF in Hebron after an alleged attack on an Israeli soldier.
Al-Haq said that inflammatory and inciting statements from senior Israeli officials, such as Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennet who called on civilian volunteers to mobilize and arm and that “whoever has a license to carry a weapon, this is the time to carry it,” and Israel’s Minister of Defense Benny Gantz granting full freedom of action to the Israeli security forces, saying, “There are no restrictions in this war nor will there be,” and promising to “continue and intensify” operations in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Al-Haq also noted the violent and brutal assault by the Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem against Muslim worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque and the general public at Damascus Gate since the start of Ramadan. In Just one day on 15 April, the Israeli police raided Al-Haram Al-Sharif (Al-Aqsa compound), fired sound bombs and severely beat with batons, clubs and rifle ends, any Palestinian in the compound, regardless of their age or sex, as well as journalists who were covering the violations. At least 400 Palestinians were detained that day and 157 Palestinians were injured, with 80 percent of the injuries being caused by severe beatings on the upper parts of the body. Al-Makassed Hospital reported admitting 35 to the hospital, eight of whom were admitted to ICU, and five to surgeries.
Al-Haq called on the international community to immediately act in the face of Israel’s escalating attacks and persecution. “It is incumbent on States to not be selective in their application of universal norms of international law,” it said, calling on States to “denounce and bring to an end, the excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Occupying Forces and Israeli police against the Palestinian people,” and demand that the Israeli authorities rescind the “shoot to kill” policy.
It also called for an end to colonial settler violence against the Palestinian people and holding perpetrators accountable for their acts, and 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 for the victims of Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.”