Raising alarms over deadly Israel-Palestinian clashes, UN officials call for immediate de-escalation

Buildings lie in ruins in Gaza following an Israeli airstrike in May 2021. (file)
Buildings lie in ruins in Gaza following an Israeli airstrike in May 2021. (file)
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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türkcalled to halt the “illogic of escalation” that has been building up to the detriment of the human rights of both Palestinians and Israelis.”

He raised serious concerns that scores of Palestinians, including a boy and three older men, were killed and hundreds injured in the Israeli operation in Nablus, and by airstrikes and rocket attacks between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

Explosive projectiles

The High Commissioner also expressed concern at the Israeli security forces’ use of explosive weapons during the operation in Nablus.

“Conducting an operation involving shoulder-launched explosive projectiles and other weapons typically associated with hostilities in a highly populated area in broad daylight at a time of heightened public activity suggests concerning disregard for the lives and security of bystanders,” Mr. Türk said.

All law enforcement security operations must be conducted in full compliance with international human rights law, including by ensuring that all killings and serious injuries are investigated in accordance with international norms and standards, he added.

Engagement with parties continues

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace ProcessTor Wennesland said he will continue to engage all concerned parties to de-escalate the situation.

“I am deeply disturbed by the continuing cycle of violence and appalled by the loss of civilian lives,” he said, urging all sides to refrain from steps that could further enflame an already volatile situation.

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