UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk warned on Friday that rising violence in the occupied West Bank could spiral out of control, fueled by strident political rhetoric and an escalation in the use of advanced military weaponry by Israel, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights said the sharp deterioration was having a terrible impact on both Palestinians and Israelis and called for an immediate end to the violence.
Following Monday’s Israeli attack in Jenin Refugee Camp that killed eight Palestinians, including a boy and a girl, and injured at least 91 Palestinians, Türk issued a reminder to Israeli occupation authorities of their obligations under international law with respect to the use of lethal force.
“Israel must urgently reset its policies and actions in the Occupied West Bank in line with international human rights standards, including protecting and respecting the right to life.”
“As the occupying power, Israel also has obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure public order and safety within the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” he continued.
So far this year, Israeli occupation forces have killed at least 126 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Among them were 21 boys and one girl.
Türk reiterated that the underlying dynamics leading to the widespread violence and arbitrary loss of life need to be addressed with urgency.
“For this violence to end, the occupation must end,” he said. “On all sides, the people with the political power know this and must instigate immediate steps to realize this.”