LOGIN

UN Calls for Ceasefire in West Bank Amid Rising Tensions, with US and Russia Support

by Andrew Wright
2 comments
West Bank violence

The United Nations Security Council has issued a statement urging both Israel and the Palestinians to refrain from actions that could exacerbate the already volatile situation in the West Bank. This joint declaration, supported by the United States and Russia, signifies a rare moment of unity on a divisive issue, highlighting the widespread international concern over the escalating violence, particularly involving Israeli forces and settlers.

The statement comes in response to a concerning surge in violence in the West Bank, as reported by the UN’s Mideast envoy, Tor Wennesland. Numerous casualties have been reported on both sides, prompting Wennesland to caution the council that immediate measures must be taken to curb the violence, as there is a significant risk of further deterioration.

Of particular concern to Wennesland is the alarming levels of settler violence, with armed settlers systematically attacking Palestinian villages and instilling fear among communities, sometimes with the support of Israeli forces. The Security Council members have called for restraint and emphasized the need for additional steps to restore a lasting calm and de-escalate tensions.

This year has witnessed one of the deadliest periods for Palestinians in the West Bank in recent memory, with a sharp increase in settler violence last week alone. According to reports, 137 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank in 2023, while 24 individuals on the Israeli side have lost their lives in Palestinian attacks.

The United States, a staunch ally of Israel, has expressed support for the Security Council’s statement. Robert Wood, the U.S. deputy ambassador, echoed Wennesland’s concerns, emphasizing the Biden administration’s alarm over the recent brutal terror attack near the West Bank town of Eli that claimed the lives of four Israelis. Wood also condemned the extremist settler attacks on Palestinian civilians, which resulted in casualties, injuries, and significant property damage.

Amid the escalating violence, there has been widespread criticism from the council regarding Israel’s far-right government plans to construct over 5,000 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and expedite settlement approvals. It should be noted that all Israeli settlements in occupied territory are considered illegal under international law.

Wennesland warned that Israel’s relentless expansion of settlements is fueling violence and impeding Palestinians’ access to their land and resources, thereby reshaping the geography of the occupied West Bank and jeopardizing the feasibility of a future Palestinian state. Wood called on Israel to refrain from building settlements, evicting Palestinians, demolishing their homes, and urged both parties to reject terrorism and incitement to violence, as these actions only exacerbate the situation.

Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador, expressed serious concern about the escalating violence, citing an Israeli raid in the Jenin Refugee Camp that claimed seven Palestinian lives, clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians, and intensified Israeli efforts to expand and legalize settlements. Nebenzia emphasized that the situation would remain volatile until negotiations resumed for a two-state solution, enabling Israel and the Palestinians to coexist peacefully. He reiterated Russia’s call for a meeting with the Arab League and neighboring countries to invigorate long-stalled talks.

Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour accused the Israeli government of replacing the Palestinian state with a state for settlers. He highlighted the settlers’ awareness of their global condemnation but their continued military, financial, and political support from the Israeli government. In contrast, Mansour argued that the Palestinians lack substantial support to rein in the settlers, despite holding the moral high ground and international law on their side. Mansour called upon the Security Council to demonstrate that help is on the way.

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan countered by accusing the council of underreporting the 3,500 attacks allegedly committed by Palestinians against Israelis since the beginning of the year. While condemning violence against Palestinian civilians, Erdan asserted that Israel is diligently working to identify and hold the perpetrators accountable. He pointedly noted that the Palestinians have failed to condemn the murders of innocent Israelis. Erdan also accused the Palestinians of seeking the destruction of a Jewish state, arguing that if Israel withdrew from the West Bank, Hamas would seize control, as it did in Gaza.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about West Bank violence

What is the purpose of the UN’s statement regarding the West Bank violence?

The purpose of the UN’s statement is to urge both Israel and the Palestinians to refrain from actions that could further escalate tensions in the volatile West Bank. The statement calls for restraint, a ceasefire, and additional steps to restore calm and de-escalate tensions.

Why is the UN’s statement significant?

The UN’s statement is significant because it is backed by both the United States and Russia, reflecting a moment of unity on a divisive issue. This signifies widespread international concern over the escalating violence, particularly by Israeli forces and settlers, and highlights the urgency of addressing the situation.

What is the concern raised by the UN’s Mideast envoy?

The UN’s Mideast envoy, Tor Wennesland, expressed alarm over the extreme levels of settler violence, where armed settlers systematically attack Palestinian villages with support from Israeli forces. He warned that unless decisive steps are taken to rein in the violence, there is a significant risk of the situation deteriorating further.

What are the main casualties reported in the West Bank?

According to reports, there have been numerous casualties on both sides. In 2023 alone, at least 137 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank, while 24 people on the Israeli side have been killed in Palestinian attacks. These casualties contribute to the urgency of addressing the violence and seeking a resolution.

What is the stance of the United States on the situation?

The United States, Israel’s closest ally, supports the UN’s statement and shares the concerns raised by the UN’s Mideast envoy. The U.S. calls for restraint, condemns acts of violence against both Palestinians and Israelis, and emphasizes the need to refrain from actions that further inflame the situation.

What is the concern raised by Russia’s U.N. Ambassador?

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, expressed serious concern over the escalating violence in the West Bank. He highlighted an Israeli raid, clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians, and intensified Israeli settlement activities as causes for concern. Nebenzia emphasized the need for negotiations on a two-state solution and called for a meeting with the Arab League and neighboring countries to revive stalled talks.

More about West Bank violence

You may also like

2 comments

NewsJunkie87 June 28, 2023 - 1:53 pm

un’s statement is a big deal! both us n russia support it, showin how seriuz dis is. settler violns r alarming n israel’s expansion of illegal settlements is fuelin more problems. hope they can find a way out of dis mess!

Reply
GazaWarrior June 28, 2023 - 7:52 pm

finally, ppl talkin bout the sufferin in west bank. settlers attackin palestinian villages, n israeli forces supportin dem! we need help! un needs to do more than just statements.

Reply

Leave a Comment

logo-site-white

BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News