GENEVA: The United Nations human rights office on Tuesday called on Israel to halt its support of attacks by settlers in the occupied West Bank, which has seen an uptick of raids since Oct 7.

The call came a day after Israeli settlers shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank on Monday, after Israeli forces killed a Palestinian teenager during a military raid.

“Israel, as the occupying power, must take all measures in its power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety in the occupied West Bank,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“This obligation includes protecting Palestinians from settler attacks, and ending unlawful use of force against Palestinians by the Israeli Security Forces.” She added: “The Israeli Security Forces must immediately end their active participation in and support for settler attacks on Palestinians.”

Violence in the West Bank was already on the rise before Israel’s assault on Gaza. It has escalated since, with stepped-up Israeli military raids and settler violence.

Shamdasani described the escalating violence in the West Bank as “a matter of grave concern.”

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2024

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