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'5-year high' in number of Palestinians killed in West Bank
Published Tuesday 31/12/2013 (updated) 02/01/2014 21:10
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Women and children watch the funeral of Lubna Hanash in
Bethlehem, Jan. 23.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel killed 27 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2013, making it the deadliest year for Palestinian fatalities since 2008, Israeli rights group B'Tselem said Monday.

According to data compiled by the rights group, three times as many Palestinians were killed in the West Bank in 2013 compared to 2012.

By contrast, in 2012 Israeli security forces killed eight Palestinians in the West Bank and 246 in the Gaza Strip, including at least 167 in its November war on the coastal territory.

In nine of the 2013 West Bank killings, Israeli military forces raided Palestinian communities during arrest operations.

Four of those killings involved an exchange of fire, according to Israel's army, while four other cases involved Israeli soldiers opening fire after stones had been thrown at them.

Seven other killings took place while Israeli soldiers were lying in wait to capture alleged stone throwers or after Israeli soldiers had used live fire against Palestinians throwing stones.

One Palestinian was killed when he tried to enter Israel without a permit, one female bystander was shot dead by soldiers, another man was killed after breaking into a military base with a tractor and one man was shot after allegedly assaulting a border police officer.

In the final case, the Israeli border police volunteer retracted his original claim that Antar Shalabi Mahmoud al-Aqraa had tried to stab him before being shot dead.

In the Gaza Strip, nine Palestinians were killed, four of whom were allegedly taking part in hostilities when they were killed and three who were not, B'Tselem said.

In one case the group said it is unknown if the victim was taking part in hostilities. Another Palestinian was assassinated by Israeli forces.

Three-year-old Hala Abu Sbeikha was killed last Tuesday in Gaza following an Israeli airstrike.

Investigations into killings 'slow and cumbersome'

B'Tselem says that over two years have passed since a new investigative policy by the MAG Corps unit went into effect, in which time 35 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers.

A total of 23 investigations into the fatalities were launched, with the MAG corps reaching a decision on only five of the cases.

In one case, a decision was made not to open an investigation, in three cases the file was closed, and in another an Israeli soldier was indicted and convicted by plea bargain based on his admission, B'Tselem said.

"The sharp rise in fatalities in the West Bank only serves to intensify concern about lack of accountability. Admittedly, MPIU investigations are now launched almost automatically, yet the essence of the investigative mechanism remains unchanged," B'Tselem Director Jessica Montell said.

"It is slow and cumbersome and decisions are made only years after an incident takes place. Such a mechanism, in which practically no one is held accountable for the killing of Palestinians, does not serve as a deterrent and indicates disregard for human life."
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1 ) Lale / SA
31/12/2013 18:34
TODAY palestinetimes quote,65 years old Palestinian man has died outside of Jenin,at an Israeli checkpoint,when the soldiers refused his son to be allowed to take him to the hospital.THEY ARE ALREADY 28.what about the many others who suffered similar in the West Bank and Gasa.what about those who have succumbed to their injuries from last year,abd them as there are hundred(S).in any case,justice must be obtained,these Zionist killers must atone penalty for their crimes in international courts.

2 ) Johnny benson / USA
31/12/2013 19:30
And how many Israelis were killed?.....

3 ) Colin Wright / USA
31/12/2013 22:03
To Johnny Benson #2: 'And how many Israelis were killed?.....' In the West Bank? Five -- four of whom were soldiers and the fifth a settler. Resisting an invading army is not illegal. Murdering civilians is.

4 ) JoeUSA / USA
31/12/2013 22:11
Ref#2 . According to the Haaretz related article , a grand total of 6 Israelis were killed. Does that answer your question? Or does the number appear to be too low on how you FEEL about the issue?.....

5 ) Colin Wright / USA
31/12/2013 23:36
Banner year. Most of the killings were either unjustified or acts of outright murder, too! Israel -- whether you love it or you hate it, it says who you are.

6 ) ian / australia
02/01/2014 12:29
#2 "And how many Israelis were killed?....." Well, there was the little boy soldier who looked like Justin Bieber stabbed asleep on the bus, the kidnapped soldier whose body was found in a well, a soldier shot in Hebron, the retired IDF colonel bludgeoned to death in his illegal Jordan Valley settlement, Master Sergeant Shlomi Cohen, shot by a Lebanese soldier and Salah Abu Latif, the Bedouin tractor driver killed working on the fence in Gaza, but you probably wouldn't count him. So, about five,

7 ) ian / australia
02/01/2014 12:30
(contd.) Johnny, for 2013. Your point being?

8 ) Daniel / France
07/01/2014 04:14
Ah, so it is ok to kill soldiers? Just killing civilians is unlawful? When will you finally wake up and acknowledge that it is about killing PEOPLE, no matter who they are? Palestinians should finally know which consequences they will have to face if they attack Israelis. So there should be no complaints
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