Days of Palestine – Jerusalem
The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wencesland, expressed Monday his alarm in a briefing to the UN Security Council over the risk of escalation in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.
“In recent months, violence has continued at a high level, leading to scores of Palestinian casualties by the Israeli occupation,” he said.
Since mid-March, 49 Palestinians have been killed in demonstrations, clashes, Israeli security operations, including in Area A, attacks, and settler-related violence.
“The risk of escalation in the Gaza Strip continues, adding that the fragility of the political and security situation in the West Bank is “extremely worrying,” as described
In his briefing, Tor Wencesland mentioned the latest Israeli crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem as follows:
On 17 June, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) shot and killed three Palestinians and injured six others in the context of an Israeli military operation and subsequent armed clashes between IOF and Palestinians in Jenin.
On 19 June, IOF shot and killed a Palestinian man near the Separation Barrier in the West Bank city of Qalqilya.
On 21 June, an Israeli settler killed a Palestinian man, stabbing him when Israeli settlers set up tents on Palestinian-owned property near the village of Iskaka in Salfit.
On 24 June, IOF shot a 16-year-old Palestinian near Silwad village, near Ramallah, who later succumbed to his wounds.
On 25 June, Israeli settlers assaulted and injured two Palestinian farmers, one critically, and set fire to three Palestinian vehicles near al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah.
Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, remains deeply troubling, he stressed.
Settlements constitute a flagrant violation of United Nations resolutions and international law. They undermine the prospect of achieving a two-State solution by systematically eroding the possibility of establishing a contiguous, independent, viable, and sovereign Palestinian State, he continued.
In the briefing, Mr. Wencesland called on the Israeli occupation to cease the advancement of all settlement activity immediately.
“The continued demolitions and seizures of Palestinian-owned structures, including internationally funded humanitarian projects, are also disturbing. In particular, I am deeply concerned by the potential implications of the Israeli High Court’s ruling on Masafar Yatta and the humanitarian toll on the communities in question if eviction orders are enforced,” he added.
Mr. Wencesland calls upon the Israeli occupation to end the demolition and seizure of Palestinian-owned property, prevent the possible displacement and eviction of Palestinians, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian and international human rights law, and approve plans that would enable Palestinians in Area C and occupied East Jerusalem to build legally and address their development needs.
He extremely condemned the continued killings of Palestinians, including children, by Israeli occupation forces, related in particular to incidents where they did not appear to present an imminent threat to life.
Mr. Wencesland noted that to date in 2022, 15 Palestinian children have been killed in the West Bank as compared to nine children killed in the West Bank during the same period in 2021.
Children must not be the target of violence or put in harm’s way, he added.
Regarding the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, Wencesland renewed the Secretary-General’s call for an independent and transparent investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable, adding: “I am alarmed by the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Wencesland expressed his alarm over the occupied West Bank. He said that The fragility of the political and security situation, particularly in the occupied West Bank, is highly concerning.
About Gaza Strip, He stated that in Gaza, the situation remains fragile, and the risk of escalation persists. Efforts by the United Nations and international partners to improve Palestinian lives, and measures by Israel to ease restrictions and facilitate more economic activity, including increasing access to the Israeli labor market for workers from Gaza, have enabled the fragile ceasefire to continue.