Israeli occupation forces have escalated the use of force against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem over the past few days after receiving a green light from politicians, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said in a statement issued on Friday.
The Euro-Med said its team had documented the killing of 18 Palestinians in the first half of April, most of whom were killed following statements by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on 8 April in which he granted a mandate to the Israeli army to wage an unrelenting war on what was he described as “terrorism”.
“The violence of the Israeli forces extended to Al-Aqsa Mosque this morning [15 April], as large forces of the Israeli police stormed the mosque’s courtyards and violently attacked worshipers inside, injuring more than 150 Palestinians and arresting 400 others,” it said.
The statement said the Israeli forces’ decision to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque and the unjustified attack on worshippers reflects the recklessness of decision-makers in Israel and an apparent desire for escalation.
“This behaviour may have severe repercussions on the stability in Jerusalem and throughout the Palestinian territories. It happened in May of last year,” it added.
Euro-Med Monitor has documented the killing of 47 Palestinians, including eight children and two women, by Israeli forces in various incidents since the start of 2022, noting that the number is five times that of those killed during the same period last year, when the number stood at ten.
The authorization of the Israeli politicians for the army and security to operate with “full freedom to defeat terrorism” seemed to have paved the way for the unjustified excuse to kill and abuse Palestinian civilians at military checkpoints and in the cities, villages and towns of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, it explained.
The Euro-Med Monitor held Israeli politicians fully responsible for the killings of Palestinians, especially those “unarmed women and children killed in cold blood without posing any threat to the lives of Israeli soldiers”.
The statement linked the increase in killings of Palestinians to instructions issued to the occupation forces on 20 December 2021, which gave the green light for soldiers in the occupied West Bank to open fire on Palestinian youths who throw stones and Molotov cocktails.