UN Demands Israel Halt Support for Settler Attacks on Palestinians in West Bank

The UN demands Israel stop enabling settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, as violence escalates, threatening regional stability and peace efforts.

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Muthana Al-Najjar
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UN Demands Israel Halt Support for Settler Attacks on Palestinians in West Bank

UN Demands Israel Halt Support for Settler Attacks on Palestinians in West Bank

The United Nations human rights office has called on Israeli security forces to immediately stop participating in and enabling attacks by Jewish settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The demand comes amid escalating violence in the region, with at least seven Palestinians killed and 75 wounded by Israeli forces or armed settlers since Friday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The latest wave of violence was triggered by a militant attack that killed a 14-year-old Israeli boy from a settler family. In response, settlers have torched hundreds of homes, buildings, and cars in the West Bank. The UN has stated that Israel, as the occupying power, must take all measures to restore and ensure public order and safety in the occupied territory, including protecting Palestinians from settler attacks and ending the unlawful use of force against them by Israeli forces.

Why this matters: The escalating violence in the West Bank threatens to further destabilize the already volatile region and hinder efforts to achieve lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The international community has long considered the settlements illegal and an obstacle to resolving the conflict.

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, expressed concern over the continued violence and urged Israel to fulfill its obligations under international law to protect Palestinian civilians. "The UN is deeply troubled by the recent incidents of settler violence, including attacks on Palestinian homes, farms, and olive trees," Wennesland said, calling on Israel to investigate these incidents and hold the perpetrators accountable .

Human rights groups have accused Israel of committing apartheid by forcibly removing Palestinian families from their homes and allowing law enforcement to ignore and even participate in violence against them. The international community has long considered the settlements illegal and an obstacle to lasting regional peace.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also called for urgent de-escalation of hostilities in the Middle East following Iran's weekend attack on Israel. Guterres spoke with Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, urging a renewed focus on bringing peace to the region. The UN is appealing for $2.8 billion in aid to provide desperately needed assistance to 3 million Palestinians, stressing the need to restore critical services like water, sanitation, and health facilities in Gaza.

The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that at least 466 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank since October 7, and 112 children have been killed by the Israeli military and another three by settlers. Settler attacks have more than doubled, and the rate of Palestinians displaced has also more than doubled due to settlement expansion.

The UN has called on all states with influence in the region to do everything in their power to stop the escalating tensions in the West Bank and the heightened risk of a wider regional war in the Middle East. "Israel continues to impose unlawful restrictions on the entry and distribution of humanitarian assistance and to carry out widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza," the UN rights office said. Meanwhile, Israel is facing pressure from its Western allies to exercise restraint in responding to Iran's recent missile attack.

Key Takeaways

  • UN demands Israel stop enabling attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinians in West Bank.
  • Escalating violence in West Bank threatens regional stability, with 7 Palestinians killed since Friday.
  • UN urges Israel to investigate settler attacks and hold perpetrators accountable, fulfill obligations to protect Palestinians.
  • Rights groups accuse Israel of apartheid, as settler attacks and home demolitions increase.
  • UN appeals for $2.8 billion in aid for Palestinians, amid heightened risk of wider regional conflict.