Israeli soldiers have used excessive force in the West Bank [CIA backgrounder] since 2011, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] said in a report [text, PDF] Thursday. AI's investigation was specifically focused on the evidence of the unlawful shootings of 22 Palestinian civilians by Israeli soldiers. The shootings arose from the Palestinians' continuing protests [AI report] against the Israeli government for their occupation of Palestinian territories and illegal construction of a barrier within the West Bank. With this report, AI is urging the Israeli government to open investigations into the wrongful killings of these Palestinians in order to seek a remedy for the possible violations of both Israeli and international law.
Israel has been criticized recently for potential human rights violations, particularly with respect to the conflict in Gaza [JURIST news archive] and the West Bank. Recently the UN has urged [JURIST report] for Israeli forces to cease its use of live ammunition against civilians that may constitute excessive use of force in the West Bank. In December Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] accused the Israeli Defense Forces of war crimes [JURIST report] after a November aerial bombing raid killed 12 civilians in Gaza. In response, UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk called on Israel [JURIST report] to fully implement and continue to support the recent conflict-ending ceasefire agreement with Palestinians in Gaza.