Dubai: The UN Security Council has called for an end to “unilateral actions” and an immediate de-escalation following a deadly surge in violence in the occupied West Bank.
The call at the emergency meeting of the council comes after Israeli settlers rampaged through a Palestinian town of Humara in the West Bank, killing a man and torching cars and homes in response to a drive-by shooting that killed two Israeli settlers.
The violence occurred just after a high-level summit meeting in the Jordanian city of Aqaba on Sunday, where Israeli delegates promised to suspend settlement expansion in the West Bank.
At the meeting, Palestinian ambassador to the UN pleaded Security Council has an obligation to find ways to “provide protection” for Palestinian civilians,
“We believe that the Security Council has a responsibility to shoulder, especially with regard to ... taking steps to provide protection to the civilian population, especially after the criminal and terrorist act by settlers” in Huwara and nearby villages, envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters after a closed-door meeting of the council.
The meeting was requested by the United Arab Emirates after hundreds of Israelis attacked Huwara town in the northern West Bank late Sunday, throwing stones at Palestinian homes and setting fire to buildings and cars.
After the meeting, UAE’s ambassador to the UN Lana Nusseibeh emphasised the importance of promoting dialogue and diplomacy between Israeli and Palestinian officials.
Lana Nusseibeh told reporters that the UN special co-ordinator for the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, gave the Security Council a “concerning overview of the fact that a lack of a political horizon is causing a continual cycle of violence and reprisals on the ground”.
UAE calls for promoting dialogue
She highlighted the importance of promoting dialogue and diplomacy and urged “further talks” between Israeli and Palestinian officials.
Addressing reporters. Mansour said it would have been helpful for Security Council representatives to visit Huwara so they could “see with their own eyes (and) feel the horror in the minds and hearts of children and mothers and their families.”
Ambassador Vanessa Frazier of Malta, which chaired the council in February, said the Security Council’s 15 member countries “should try to see if there are ways that we can stop any incitement to further violence, and to promote dialogue” between Israelis and Palestinians, said Meanwhile both sides “need to ... refrain from any violent acts”.
Last week, for the first time in six years, the Security Council denounced the building of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, in a statement also approved by the United States.
“We will continue knocking on the door of the Security Council, not only to speak in one voice but to take further steps,” Mansour said.
“Protection, protection, protection is what the Palestinian civilian population is asking for.”
While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is escalating, officials on both sides pledged during a meeting Sunday in Jordan to prevent new unrest.