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UN Rights chief urges Israel to end violence in West Bank immediately

June 23, 2023 at 1:49 pm

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]

The UN Human Rights chief, on Friday, urged Israel to end the violence in the Occupied West Bank immediately, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Israel must urgently reset its policies and actions in the Occupied West Bank in line with international human rights standards, including protecting and respecting the right to life,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, said in a written statement.

“For this violence to end, the occupation must end,” Turk added. “On all sides, the people with the political power know this and must instigate immediate steps to realise this.”

He warned that this week’s violence in the Occupied West Bank “risks spiralling out of control, fuelled by strident political rhetoric and an escalation in the use of advanced military weaponry by Israel.”

He added: “These latest killings and the violence, along with the inflammatory rhetoric, serve only to drive Israelis and Palestinians deeper into an abyss.”

READ: UN chief slams Israel settler attacks as ‘acts of terrorism’

The Israeli security forces conducted a series of airstrikes on the Jenin refugee camp in the Occupied West Bank on Monday, which killed at least seven Palestinians, including a boy and a girl, and injured 91 Palestinians and seven Israeli soldiers, according to the UN statement.

In the latest incident on Wednesday, settlers under the protection of Israeli forces carried out a brutal attack on the Palestinian village of Turmus Ayya in the central West Bank, killing one Palestinian and injuring dozens of others and burning 30 houses, 60 cars and dozens of olive trees.

Tensions have been running high across the Occupied West Bank in recent months amid repeated Israeli raids into Palestinian towns.

Nearly 180 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of this year, according to the Health Ministry. At least 25 Israelis have also been killed in separate attacks during the same period.

Estimates indicate that about 700,000 settlers are living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the Occupied West Bank.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories are considered illegal.

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