UN Security Council, including US, voices concern about violence in West Bank

UN Security Council, including US, voices concern about violence in West Bank

Members says Israeli illegal settlement in occupied West Bank undermines two-state solution between Israel, Palestine

By Diyar Guldogan

WASHINGTON (AA) - Some UN Security Council members voiced concern Tuesday about the violence in the West Bank and urged Israel to end all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory.

"The world's eyes are rightfully on Gaza, but we cannot ignore the situation in the West Bank," US envoy to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

Stressing that the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank remains "deeply alarming," she said: "We're concerned by the significant uptick in deadly violence against Palestinian civilians by settlers in the West Bank, and condemn it in the strongest terms."

The US urges Israel, working in coordination with the Palestinian authorities, to prevent the attacks, she said, adding that advancing Israeli settlements in the West Bank is an "obstacle" to a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

UK envoy to the UN, Barbara Woodward, said the UK noted "with concern" the continuing construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

"We are clear these settlements are illegal under international law. We reiterate our call on Israel to immediately and completely stop all settlement activities," said Woodward as she condemned human rights abuses and incitement of violence against Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

French envoy Nicolas de Riviere said as the situation in the Gaza Strip continues to deteriorate, Israeli settlement activity is accelerating in the West Bank.

"France condemns this policy which runs counter to international law and which imperils the prospect of achievement of a two-state solution. We will never recognize the illegal annexation of territory, nor the legal recognition of illegal settlements," he said while condemning violence by illegal Israeli settlers.

France urged the avoidance of any measure that may result in the conflagration of the situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank, said de Riviere.

- Israeli 'West Bank terror'

Slovenian Ambassador Samuel Zbogar said his country is "alarmed" by the situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

"We remain concerned over the advancement of settlement plans, demolitions and seizures, of Palestinian-owned structures in front of our own eyes, we are deeply concerned about impunity of persistent settler violence affecting the population in the West Bank and aid delivery to Gaza," he said.

Algerian envoy Amar Bendjama, for his part, noted that the threat of a widening conflict is real and must be addressed, and condemned Israeli "West Bank terror."

“The situation in the West Bank will deteriorate further if the occupying power does not cease its policy of terror, of expansion of settlement, we call for full compliance with resolution 2334," said Bendjama, referring to the Security Council resolution that was adopted in December 2016 that said Israel’s settlement activity is a "flagrant violation" of international law and has "no legal validity.” The resoultion demands Israel immediately cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

Stressing that "settler terror" has reached an "unprecedented level" often perpetrated under the protection of the Israeli army, he said Algeria demands "accountability for the perpetrator of this act of terror."

He also demanded the imposition of sanctions against Israel for its non-compliance with Security Council resolutions.

Tensions have been high across the occupied West Bank since Israel launched a deadly military offensive against Gaza, which has killed more than 37,600 Palestinians since Oct. 7.

At least 553 Palestinians have since been killed, including 133 children, and nearly 5,300 injured by Israeli army fire in the West Bank, according to the Health Ministry.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its military operation in Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than 1 million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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