The US has called on the Israeli occupation to bring extremist Israeli settlers to justice for their attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank, and to halt its plans to expand settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
In a phone call on Friday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan voiced his deep concern over the Israeli settler rampage through Palestinian villages that left one person dead and dozens of homes and cars damaged.
Sullivan stressed the importance of holding accountable those responsible for such acts of violence by Israeli settlers.
He also urged the Israeli occupation to take “additional steps to restore calm and de-escalate tensions, and called on all parties to refrain from unilateral actions, including settlement activity, that further inflame tensions”.
The US statement came amid growing international pressure on the Israeli occupation to prevent settler violence and to stop its stepped-up settlement construction, with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government moving to authorize thousands of homes and several currently illegal outposts in the West Bank.
The EU’s top representative to Palestine, Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff, who visited the village of Turmus Ayya on Friday along with other diplomats, blasted the Israeli occupation for failing to meet its obligations to protect Palestinians under international law.
“There was no attempt or effort to stop the settlers,” he said.
Turmus Ayya residents told AFP they saw between 200 and 300 Israeli settlers rampaging through their village on Wednesday, attacking residents and setting fire to houses and cars. The Palestinian killed in the Israeli attack, 27-year-old Omar Qattin, was a US Green Card holder.
The Israeli military acknowledged it “failed” to prevent the attack by Israeli settlers on Turmus Ayya, saying troops were spread too thin. Israeli police said they arrested three people in connection with the violence.