Israeli authorities also destroyed at least 729 Palestinian buildings – including 273 homes – last year, according to an NGO.
Israeli security forces carried out “heinous killings” throughout 2020, killing at least 27 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Israel, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.
“During 2020, Israeli security forces killed 27 Palestinians, including seven minors: one in the Gaza Strip, 23 in the West Bank. [including East Jerusalem] and three inside Israel, ”B’Tselem said on Monday.
In at least 11 of the 16 killings B’Tselem investigated in the occupied West Bank, Palestinians “posed no threat to the lives of the forces” or anyone else at the time they were shot.
Some of the examples highlighted in the report include the murder of Iyad Hallaq, a 32-year-old Palestinian with autism who attended and worked at a school for people with special needs in the occupied Old City of East Jerusalem.
At the time, Israeli officers said they suspected Hallaq of carrying a weapon and started chasing him when he panicked and started running.
He was shot dead while hiding behind a dumpster, a few meters from his school.
Hallaq’s father Told Al Jazeera in June, his son had the mental capacity of an eight-year-old and did not understand the dangerous reality of life under occupation.
“For years Israel has pursued a reckless and illegal policy of open fire in the West Bank. This policy is fully supported by the government, the military and the courts, with utter indifference to foreseeable murderous results, ”B’Tselem said.
In the rare event that members of the Israeli forces are charged with killing Palestinians, the charges and sentences “do not reflect the gravity of the offenses,” the group added.
During 2020, amid the raging coronavirus pandemic, Israeli authorities also destroyed at least 729 Palestinian buildings, including homes and non-residential structures.
In 2020, the group said, more Palestinians lost their homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem than every year since 2016.
“In total, Israel demolished 273 homes in 2020, leaving 1,006 Palestinians – including 519 minors – homeless,” B’Tselem said.
“In 2020, Israel also demolished 456 non-residential structures and infrastructure. This includes humanitarian infrastructure such as water cisterns and pipelines or power grids, which are critical to maintaining health and sanitation, which is particularly important at this time.
The group said it documented 248 attacks by illegal Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank last year.
The attacks ranged from physical assaults to targeting farmers or their properties, which “could not take place without massive state support.”