In a statement released Friday, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) warned of the “multi-layered human rights violations of Palestinians” occurring in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The statement further notes that 132 Palestinians, 41 of which were children, have been killed in the West Bank since Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel and Israel’s response. Two Israeli soldiers have also been killed.
The statement said that Israeli military presence in the region is contributing to settler violence, noting that military weapons and tactics have been used on civilians, including an airstrike on Jenin refugee camp, as well as daily attacks by people carrying firearms. It further alleges that:
[S]ettlers were accompanied by members of the Israeli forces, or the settlers were wearing uniforms and carrying army rifles. Along with the near total impunity for settler violence, we are concerned that armed settlers have been acting with the acquiescence and collaboration of Israeli forces and authorities.
The statement reports that since 7 October, nearly 1,000 Palestinians from herding communities have been displaced, often after having been given ultimatums to leave their homes or be killed. The UN claims that Palestinians received pamphlets warning them to evacuate or face “elimination”.
The Israel Policy Forum describes settlers in the West Bank as communities “in territories acquired by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War that are not under Israeli sovereignty.” The international community, including the US, have expressed opposition to Israel’s settlement policies in the West Bank. In July, the Israeli government approved plans for the expansion of West Bank settlements.