UN rights office criticises Israel over deaths of 500 Palestinians in West Bank

GENEVA, June 4 (Reuters) – The U.N. human rights office called on Tuesday for an end to violence in which it said Israeli security forces and Jewish settlers have killed more than 500 Palestinians in the West Bank since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.
It said in a statement that Israel had used “unnecessary and disproportionate” force in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and condemned what it said was the systematic denial of medical aid.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.N. statement.
Israel’s diplomatic mission in Geneva said its actions in the West Bank were in response to what it described as a drastic increase in attacks.
“Israel will continue to operate against Palestinian terrorism, from wherever it emanates, in line with international law, to protect and defend our population,” it said.
Violence has surged in the West Bank since the Hamas-led attack on Israel on Oct.7 last year that triggered Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, which the Gaza health ministry says has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians.
Israeli security forces have in recent months cracked down in the West Bank, which Palestinians want as the core of a future independent state along with Gaza, and made thousands of arrests.

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