The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) on Monday condemned the recent murder and injury of a number of Palestinians by Israeli security forces.
Several cities in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Jerusalem have recently seen clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians.
The clashes erupted after groups of Jewish settlers forced their way into East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for several consecutive days last month.
UNRWA expressed its concern over the use of live ammunition by Israeli forces to disperse demonstrators — a policy the agency described as “excessive use of force”, which, it said, “may be contrary to international law enforcement standards”.
Citing the UN’s Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, the UNRWA said security forces should use firearms against individuals only in certain situations, including “self-defense or defense of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury”.
Since the latest round of violence began, a total of 16 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and 11 in the Gaza Strip, in addition to some 1,300 injured by Israeli gunfire, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
“Across the occupied Palestinian territories there is a pervasive sense of hopelessness and despair resulting from the denial of rights and dignity [to Palestinians],” UNRWA said.
“An entire generation of Palestinians is at risk,” the agency said. “All political actors must act decisively to restore their [Palestinians’] hope in a dignified, secure and stable future.”