Thursday, December 28, 2023

UN report accuses Israel of mistreatment of detainees in occupied West Bank


UN report accuses Israel of mistreatment of detainees in occupied West Bank

A UN report published on Thursday deplored what it said was a “rapid deterioration” of human rights in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and urged Israeli authorities to end violence against the Palestinian population there.

The office of the UN high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) said it had recorded mass arbitrary detentions, unlawful detentions, and cases of reported torture and other forms of ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees. It said about 4,785 Palestinians had been detained in the occupied West Bank since 7 October.

“Some were stripped naked, blindfolded and restrained for long hours with handcuffs and with their legs tied, while Israeli soldiers stepped on their heads and backs, were spat at, slammed against walls, threatened, insulted, humiliated and in some cases subjected to sexual and gender-based violence,” OHCHR said.

The report, published by the Office of the UN high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR), said 300 Palestinians had been killed in the West Bank since 7 October. Most of the killings occurred during operations by Israeli security forces.

Mourners carry the body of Hazem Qatawi, who was killed during an overnight raid by Israeli forces in Ramallah, during his funeral on 28 December. Photograph: Zain Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images

“The use of military tactics means and weapons in law enforcement contexts, the use of unnecessary or disproportionate force, and the enforcement of broad, arbitrary and discriminatory movement restrictions that affect Palestinians are extremely troubling,” OHCHR chief, Volker Türk, said.

“I call on Israel to take immediate, clear and effective steps to put an end to settler violence against the Palestinian population, to investigate all incidents of violence by settlers and Israeli Security Forces, to ensure effective protection of Palestinian communities,” he added.

People inspect the damage after an Israeli drone strike in the city of Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

Reuters said there was no immediate comment from Israeli officials on the report.

Israeli security forces claimed to have confiscated “tens of millions of shekels, safes, documents, recording systems and telephones” that it said were intended to “finance Hamas terrorism” during overnight raids in the West Bank.


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