Over the course of 2018, Israeli forces killed a total of 290 Palestinians, most of whom had not taken part in any hostilities, an Israeli human rights group reported Friday.
“Israeli security forces killed 290 Palestinians [in 2018], including 55 minors,” rights group B’Tselem said in a Friday statement.
“Of these, 254 were killed in the Gaza Strip, 34 in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and two inside Israel,” it added.
Of the 254 killed in the Gaza Strip, the group said, two were women and 47 were minors.
Since March of last year, Palestinians have been staging almost daily demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.
Israeli forces deployed near the buffer zone have responded to the demonstrations with deadly force, frequently using teargas, rubber bullets and live ammunition against unarmed protesters.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), 34 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces -- including seven minors -- in 2018, according to B’Tselem.
Of these, the group said, 13 were killed during demonstrations or “stone-throwing incidents”.
B’Tselem went on to assert that of the 290 Palestinians killed last year, most had been “unarmed [at the time of their death] and posed no danger to anyone”.
The group also accused Israel’s security apparatus of implementing a “reckless open-fire policy” against Palestinians, which, it said, appeared to be sanctioned by Israel’s government, military command and judicial system.
“As long as Israel adheres to this policy, despite its predictable outcomes, the casualties will continue to mount,” the rights group said.