Violence in the West Bank could get out of hand. The U.N. high commissioner for human rights expressed concern on Friday that the latest outbreak of violence in the occupied West Bank might quickly get out of hand.
Between Israeli military invasions and attacks by Palestinians and Jewish settlers, at least 18 people have been killed in the region this week.
Volker Turk stated in a statement that “these most recent killings and acts of violence, along with the inflammatory rhetoric, only serve to drive Israelis and Palestinians deeper into an abyss.”
More than 200 individuals, mostly Palestinians, have been killed so far this year in violence related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel has increased military operations in the northern West Bank, a bastion of Palestinian armed groups, resulting in a deadly escalation of violence in recent days. Turk claimed this week’s violence was fueled by heated political rhetoric and an increase in Israel’s, and he has demanded an immediate end to the bloodshed.
According to him, Israeli authorities must take precautions to avoid the use of deadly force at all times in order to comply with international human rights legislation.
He also stressed the importance of thorough investigations into every death that occurs in such circumstances.
“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,” added Turk.
To quote the Geneva Conventions: “As the occupying power, Israel also has obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure public order and safety within the occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Turk stated that political will from Israel and the Palestinians, as well as the international community, was necessary to address the underlying issues leading to violence and the arbitrary loss of life.
He emphasized that the occupation must cease before Palestinians can stop. Political leaders on both sides are aware of this and recognize the need to take swift action.