The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, warned that the conflict in the occupied Palestine has once again reached a “boiling point”, “after decades of continuous violence, illegal settlement expansion, stalled negotiations and deepening occupation.”
In a speech during a session of the Security Council to discuss the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian issue, on Monday, Wennesland indicated that violence in the occupied West Bank and Israel had reached high levels in recent months, including attacks against civilians.
UN official called for stronger international commitment to restore the path towards a two-state solution.
“A few days ago, we witnessed violent attacks by ‘Israeli settlers’ against Palestinians in Hebron, which highlights an alarming escalation of violence and incitement,” Wennesland adds.
“This surge in violence in the occupied Palestinian territory is taking place in the context of a stalled peace process and entrenched occupation, and amidst mounting economic and institutional challenges faced by the Palestinian Authority,” Wennesland said.
He warned that “demography is moving faster than politics,” and that the rapid population growth in Gaza and the West Bank will make it “increasingly difficult” to manage the conflict. He commended Israel for allowing Gazans into Israel for work and allowing some new materials into the Strip.
The warning comes as five Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported.
There has been a rise in Israeli raids on the occupied West Bank over the past few months, along with violence perpetrated by settlers who have turned on Israeli forces at times.
This year alone, more than 130 Palestinians have been killed, in addition to at least 25 on the Israeli side, making 2022 the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005.