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Higher number of Palestinians killed in West Bank this year

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three times as many Palestinians were killed in the West Bank in 2013 as in the previous year, according to an Israeli human rights watchdog.

Israeli security forces killed 27 Palestinians in the West Bank in 21 separate incidents, and killed nine Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in seven incidents, according to a report issued by B’Tselem on Tuesday.

By comparison, in 2012, Israeli security forces killed 8 Palestinians in the West Bank and 246 in Gaza, including 167 during Operation Pillar of Defense. Since 2003, most Palestinian fatalities occurred in the Gaza Strip.

The B’Tselem report separated Israeli civilian casualties from military ones.

Palestinians killed three Israeli civilians in 2013, two in the West Bank and one near the Gaza border fence. In 2012, four Israeli civilians were killed in Israel by Palestinians who launched rockets and shells from Gaza, and no Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians in the West Bank. In 2013, Palestinians also killed three Israeli security forces personnel, according to the report.

“The sharp rise in fatalities in the West Bank only serves to intensify concern about lack of accountability,” B’Tselem Director Jessica Montell said in a statement.

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