STORY: Occupied Palestinian Territory - OHCHR
TRT: 01 min 59s
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 11 MAY 2021 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
UN rights office deeply concerned at Palestinian escalation of violence
The UN rights office, OHCHR, appealed for “a redoubling of efforts to restore calm” on Tuesday in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, after days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces that have marked a dramatic escalation of tensions in the region.
The development echoes deep concerns expressed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and other senior UN officials over the confrontations which also prompted an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday.
“We are deeply concerned at the escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel in the past days,” said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, 915 Palestinians were injured between 7 and 10 May in East Jerusalem, and over 200 in the West Bank, most by Israeli security forces.”
Mr. Colville noted that Palestinian armed groups had also launched “some 250 rockets towards Israel in the past 24 hours” with at least 17 Israeli civilians reportedly injured.
This use of indiscriminate weapons “is strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law and must stop immediately”, the OHCHR official said.
Airstrikes had been carried out in Gaza by Israeli Defense Forces, Mr Colville continued, citing the Gaza authorities which claimed that 24 Palestinians, including nine children and one woman, have been killed and 103 injured.
The development follows protests in Jerusalem at the potential eviction of Palestinian families, as the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end and as families break their daily fast with their evening meal, or iftar.
“Certainly, what we are seeing is extremely worrying and certainly when you see the treatment to some of the protesters and even people who weren’t protesting,” said Mr Colville. “People who were simply praying or people who were having their iftar, who’ve been subjected to violence or completely unprovoked responses by the security forces.”
Asked by journalists at a regular UN Geneva briefing about whether the response of the Israeli security forces had been proportionate, the OHCHR spokesperson noted that “in some instances, particularly when the police entered the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound using tear gas, stun grenades, sponge-tipped bullets, physical force and in some cases that appeared unwarranted, disproportionated or indiscriminate.”