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Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Unlawful targeted killings in West Bank

28 October 2022

Relatives mourn during the funeral of Mojahed Dawood, 30, who died of a wound he sustained during clashes with Israeli forces, near Salfit in the Israeli-occupied West Bank October 16, 2022. © REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Delivered by

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani



This week saw further violence in the occupied West Bank, raising concerns about the possible resumption of unlawful targeted killings by Israeli security forces.

On Sunday, 23 October, a reportedly senior member of “the Lion’s Den” - a loose group of young armed Palestinian men – was killed in the old city of Nablus, apparently when a boobytrapped motorcycle detonated near him.

During operations on Tuesday, 25 October against “the Lion’s Den” members of the Israeli security forces shot dead three men in the old city of Nablus. One of the men was reportedly armed, while two others are reported to have been unarmed. Also on Tuesday, another man who was reportedly a senior member of the same group, was shot dead. Yet another man was killed when the car he was in exploded right outside of the old city.

Earlier, on 25 September, Israeli security forces opened fire on and killed a member of “the Lion’s Den” who was riding a motorcycle in Nablus. The circumstances of all these incidents are being verified by our Office.

At least 118 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem this year, including 26 children and five women. Three Palestinians, including one child, were killed by settlers or settlement guards, while another child was killed by either a settler or by Israeli security forces. Four members of the Israeli security forces and one settlement guard have been killed by Palestinians in the West Bank.

We recall that international human rights law only permits the use of firearms when absolutely necessary, when there is an imminent threat to life or of serious injury. Any killing resulting from the use of firearms or targeting of individuals who do not present an imminent threat to life or of serious injury, may amount to extrajudicial executions – an egregious violation of the right to life – and willful killings, under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is applicable in the entire occupied Palestinian territory.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected]
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected]
Jeremy Laurence + +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

In Nairobi

Seif Magango - +254 788 343 897 / [email protected]

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