JERUSALEM: A day after the latest Israeli raid killed six people, the UN peace envoy to the Middle East urged Israel and the Palestinians on Wednesday to calm the surging violence in the occupied West Bank.
Currently, “we are in the midst of a cycle of violence that must be stopped immediately,” Tor Wennesland said in a statement.
In a unanimous statement, the UN Security Council urged all parties to “refrain from provocative actions, incitement, and inflammatory rhetoric” and maintain calm.
The call was made the day after Israeli soldiers killed six Palestinians in a raid on the volatile city of Jenin in the northern West Bank. Among those killed was a Hamas member who had been accused of killing two Israeli settlers the month before.
According to the army, soldiers were launching shoulder-fired rockets and exchanging heavy gunfire when Wennesland expressed “alarm” over the situation.
The use of rockets in the Jenin refugee camp on Tuesday was described as an act of “all-out war” by Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.
With the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel has occupied Palestinian territory. The Jenin raid was the most recent in a series of deadly military operations.
A 49-year-old man named Abdel-Fatah Hussein Khroushah was one of the six people who lost their lives. According to the Israeli military, he was a “terrorist operative” who was wanted for questioning in the fatal stabbings of two Israeli settlers in the Palestinian town of Hawara on February 26.
Hours after Israeli and Palestinian officials pledged in Jordan to “prevent further violence,” the killing of the two settlers sparked anger among Israeli settlers, leading to the torching of hundreds of Palestinian homes and vehicles in the West Bank town.
Wennesland said, “I am deeply disturbed by the continuing violence,” and went on to condemn both settler violence against Palestinians and Palestinian attacks against Israelis.
He emphasized that it was Israel’s responsibility as the occupying power to ensure the safety of the civilian population and bring those responsible to justice.
The Israeli military reported this morning that a rocket was fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip; however, the rocket missed its target and exploded within the coastal enclave.
Wennesland said that in order for “us to find a way forward,” the commitments made by both sides last month in Jordan to “commit to de-escalation” must be carried out.
‘The parties must refrain from further steps that would lead us to more violence,’ he added.
Mourners at the funeral of a Hamas militant killed by Israeli forces chanted slogans against the Palestinian Authority, prompting Palestinian security forces in the occupied West Bank to fire tear gas.
Hundreds of mourners made their way through the streets of Nablus, a city in the northern West Bank, to pay their respects at the funeral of Hamas fighter Khroushah.
The Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, hailed him as a “heroic martyr.”
Some mourners hurled insults at Palestinian security forces and other officials, calling them “spies for Israel,” as they carried Khroushah’s body through Nablus.