This year could be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005, according to the United Nations' Middle East envoy.
Speaking to the UN Security Council (UNSC) this week, the special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said that "a spike in fatal violence" is causing 2022 to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005, the year when the UN started tracking fatalities.
Over the past month, he said, Israeli security forces killed 32 Palestinians – including six children – and injured 311 during demonstrations, clashes, attacks, and search-and-arrest operations.
Throughout this year, Israeli raids and attacks in the West Bank and East Jerusalem also killed 125 Palestinians.
In comparison, two Israeli forces personnel were killed and 25 Israeli civilians were injured by Palestinians during retaliations over the past month.
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In his address, Wennesland stated that "mounting hopelessness, anger and tension have once again erupted into a deadly cycle of violence that is increasingly difficult to contain," and that "too many people, overwhelmingly Palestinian have been killed and injured."
While the "immediate priority is to work to calm the situation and reverse the negative trends on the ground," he emphasises that the goal must be "to empower and strengthen the Palestinian Authority and build towards a return to a political process."
In the UNSC meeting, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN – Riyad Mansour – stated: "Our people, our children, our youth are being killed, and they will not die in vain." He told council members that "What happens next is your responsibility…We knocked on every door, searched for any avenue leading to freedom and dignity, justice and redress, shared peace and security."
Speaking of Israel, Mansour stressed that "Either we live side by side, or I fear we might die side by side. Help us live…Our people will not disappear, they will not renege their national identity, they will not accept subjugation. The Palestinian people will be free."
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