U.N.: More than 200 Palestinians killed in West Bank

Palestinians try to salvage some items from the home of the Palestinian Sheikh el-Eed family, a day after it was hit by Israeli bombs killing the mother and two of her children, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on Sunday. Photo by Ismael Muhammad/UPI

Nov. 19 (UPI) -- More than 200 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since October 7, a United Nations agency said Saturday, raising alarms about Israel's military campaign.

The Israel Defense Forces has framed its operations since the attack by Hamas as a campaign against the Palestinian militia, which it considers to be a terrorist organization. However, Hamas primarily operates out of Gaza and not the West Bank, drawing attention online to the scope of Israel's response.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement that 198 Palestinians, including 52 children, have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank while another eight, including one child, were killed by illegal Israeli settlers.

The agency said about 66% of those were killed in Israeli search-and-arrest operations, primarily in the Jenin and Tulkarm governorates. Another 24% were killed in protests supporting Gaza, while 7% were killed allegedly attacking Israeli forces and the illegal settlers.

The IDF and the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet have claimed that at least some of those killed were "terrorists" who were planning "imminent" attacks.

Israeli civilians and the IDF have killed a total of 439 Palestinians in the West Bank this year, the agency said. Meanwhile, more than 11,000 people have been killed by the IDF in Gaza.

President Joe Biden is considering a visa ban against Israelis who have illegally settled in the West Bank, calling them "extremists attacking civilians."

"I have been emphatic with Israel's leaders that extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank must stop and that those committing the violence must be held accountable," Biden wrote in the Washington Post.

"The United States is prepared to take our own steps, including issuing visa bans against extremists attacking civilians in the West Bank."