A Palestinian protester prepares his sling to hurl stones towards Israeli troops during clashes near Jenin.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Last year saw the highest number of Palestinian and Israeli casualties in the West Bank and Israel since the UN began recording such data a decade ago, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report issued early Monday morning.
The 19-page report titled “Fragmented Lives” took aim at Israel’s continued military rule of the West Bank as well as its hold on east Jerusalem by looking at the impact on Palestinian lives on the ground.
“This month, Palestinians enter their 50th year under Israeli occupation,” said David Carden, head of OCHA in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
“‘Fragmented Lives’ shows clearly the devastating impact of this ongoing situation, mainly on 4.8 million Palestinians who are increasingly vulnerable due to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law,” he said.
But the report’s primary focus was 2015, which was marked by the wave of Palestinian violence against Israelis that claimed the lives of 25 victims as of December, and the response of Israeli forces.
The toll was higher among Palestinians, where 146 people died, the UN said.
Of that number, 94 Palestinians were killed executing attacks and “alleged attacks” against Israelis, the UN said.
Most of the other 52 deaths occurred in violent clashes between Palestinian rioters and the IDF.
The 52 figure also includes attacks against innocent Palestinians by rightwing Israeli extremists, such as the July arson attack in the Palestinian village of Duma that claimed three lives.
The Palestinian fatality count also included 30 minors, of whom 20 were killed by Israeli security forces while executing attacks and “alleged attacks” against Israelis, the UN report said.
When it comes to those wounded in 2015, there is a vast discrepancy between the number of Palestinians injured – 14,053– and the Israelis who were physically harmed – 304 – the UN report stated.
“The absolute majority of Palestinian injuries occurred during clashes and resulted mainly from tear gas inhalation requiring medical treatment (60 percent); rubber bullets (26%); and from live ammunition shot by Israeli forces (10%),” the UN said.
Meanwhile, settler violence against Palestinians has declined, the UN report stated, noting that there were 305 such attacks in 2013, which dropped to 217 in 2014 and then declined again to 130 in 2015, according to the report.
Those figures included both vandalism and personal injury.
The number of Palestinians physically harmed by settlers was 92 in 2013, which rose to 107 in 2014 before declining to 97 in 2015, the report stated.