Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians in West Bank: UN Rights Chief raises concerns

"The situation in the West Bank, is dramatically deteriorating," said Volker Turk of UNHRC

Anadolu/REUTERS June 18, 2024
An Israeli tank manoeuvres near the Israel-Gaza border in Israel, May 16, 2024. PHOTO: REUTERS

Illegal Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian villages and properties in several areas of the occupied West Bank on Monday that were marking the second day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that illegal settlers attacked Palestinian residents in the town of Deir Dibwan east of Ramallah.

The agency said a group of settlers invaded the town's outskirts, gathered in the area and threw stones at residents, resulting in three injuries.

In the northern West Bank, WAFA said illegal settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles in the town of Huwara south of Nablus.

In the south, the agency noted that settlers established an illegal outpost on privately owned Palestinian land east of Hebron on Monday.

Armed settler groups set up large settlement tents and wooden and tin shelters on lands in the town of Bani Naim.

Read: Gaza conflict has caused major environmental disaster, says UN

According to the agency, the Israeli army also raided various areas of the West Bank on Monday, including the town of Ajjul north of Ramallah, where confrontations broke out between residents and Israeli forces, without reporting any casualties.

The army also stormed the town of Anata northeast of Jerusalem as well as several neighborhoods in the city of Hebron and the town of Ramin east of Tulkarm.

 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

"The situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is dramatically deteriorating," Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Turk said that from the start of the Gaza war in October through mid-June, 528 Palestinians, 133 of them children, had been killed by Israeli security forces or settlers in the West Bank, in some cases raising "serious concerns of unlawful killings".

In Gaza, Turk said he was "appalled by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law" by parties to the war.

"Israel's relentless strikes in Gaza are causing immense suffering and widespread destruction, and the arbitrary denial and obstruction of humanitarian aid have continued," Turk said.

"Israel continues to detain arbitrarily thousands of Palestinians. This must not continue."

He added that Palestinian armed groups were continuing to hold hostages, including in populated areas, which put both the hostages and civilians at risk.



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