Britain Condemns Escalating Violence in West Bank Following Israeli Teen's Death

Escalating violence in West Bank as Israeli settlers attack Palestinians, prompting international condemnation and calls for urgent action to restore calm and protect civilians.

Aqsa Younas Rana
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Britain Condemns Escalating Violence in West Bank Following Israeli Teen's Death

Britain Condemns Escalating Violence in West Bank Following Israeli Teen's Death

The British government has strongly condemned the killing of 14-year-old Israeli teenager Binyamin Achimayr in the occupied West Bank and expressed alarm at the "shocking levels of violence" that have erupted in the region since his death on Saturday. In a statement, the British Foreign Office called for Israeli authorities to restore calm and conduct urgent, transparent investigations into all deaths.

Over the weekend, hundreds of armed Jewish settlers raided Palestinian villages near Ramallah in retaliation for Achimayr's killing, blocking roads, setting homes and cars ablaze, and firing at civilians. On Monday, Israeli forces raided Nablus, killing 17-year-old Yazan Ishtayeh and wounding three other people. Two Palestinian men were also shot dead by settlers between the Israeli settlement of Gitit and the Palestinian village of Aqraba.

Why this matters: The escalating violence in the West Bank highlights the ongoing tensions and conflict between Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the occupied territories. The international community, including Britain, has expressed grave concern about the situation and the heightened risk of a wider regional war in the Middle East.

The United Nations human rights office has demanded that Israel halt its support for attacks by settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank. The UN spokesperson emphasized that Israel, as the occupying power, has a duty to protect Palestinians from settler attacks and end the unlawful use of force against them.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 33,843 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank since October 7, 2022, including 14,350 children. Settler attacks have more than doubled, and the rate of Palestinians displaced due to settlement expansion has also increased.

The United States has the power to impose sanctions on individuals and entities linked to violence in the West Bank under an executive order signed earlier this year. The Biden administration has previously sanctioned extremist settlers connected to attacks, but the violence has continued to escalate.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk urged all states with influence to do everything in their power to halt the increasingly horrific human rights and humanitarian crisis in Gaza, rising violence and targeted attacks in the West Bank, and the heightened risk of wider escalation of conflict in the Middle East. The UN announced a $2.8 billion appeal for donations to help Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, with 90% of the budget allocated for Gaza.

The mayor of Aqraba, who witnessed Monday's settler attack, said Israeli soldiers stood by and watched as the violence unfolded. The Palestine Red Crescent Society reported that soldiers blocked its ambulances from reaching the area to provide medical assistance to the wounded.

Key Takeaways

  • Britain condemns killing of Israeli teen, calls for calm in West Bank.
  • Settler attacks on Palestinians have escalated, with over 466 killed since Oct 2022.
  • UN demands Israel halt support for settler attacks, end unlawful use of force.
  • US has power to impose sanctions on individuals linked to West Bank violence.
  • UN appeals for $2.8B to help Palestinians, 90% allocated for crisis in Gaza.