The Palestinian Information Centre reported that UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet yesterday expressed ‘alarm’ for a large number of Palestinians, especially children, who have been killed and injured by Israeli occupation forces so far this year.
Bachelet said that nearly 40 Palestinian children have been killed so far this year in the occupied territories as a result of the use of lethal force by Israeli forces in violation of international human rights law.
Bachelet further argues that harming any child during the conflict is deeply disturbing and that the killing and injuring of many children this year is unconscionable.
The same UN statement revealed a total of nineteen Palestinian children were killed in the occupied Palestinian territories last week. This number brings the number of Palestinian child deaths so far this year to 37.
Meanwhile, another seventeen children were killed in the attacks that took place in Gaza from August 5 to 7 by Israeli forces, followed by two more children killed on Tuesday during Israeli operations in the occupied West Bank.
Last week, there was an intense conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad militants in the densely populated Palestinian enclave of Gaza for three days. Israel insists that its air and artillery strikes targeted positions of the Iran-back Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group. However Palestinian,officials revealed that the majority of those killed were Palestinian civilians.
Bachelet emphasized that international humanitarian law is very clear about launching attacks that might be expected to kill or injure civilians inadvertently and damage civilian objects, in a way that is disproportionate to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated is strictly prohibited so that similar attacks must be stopped immediately. Bachelet calls for an investigation into all incidents in which people have been killed or injured
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that among the 48 Palestinians killed in the Gaza attacks last week, there were 17 civilians and four women. Of the 360 Palestinians reported injured in Israeli strikes, civilians including 151 children, 58 women, and 19 elderly people, says the OHCHR.