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Statement by UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, on the surge in tensions and violence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem

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Jerusalem, 6 May 2021

"I am deeply concerned by the surge in tensions and violence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.

In the past few days alone, two Palestinians, including a woman and a child, were killed in separate incidents, by Israeli security forces (ISF) in the context of clashes or attacks. An Israeli was killed by a Palestinian in a drive-by shooting and several others injured. I reiterate that ISF must exercise maximum restraint and use lethal force only when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life. Perpetrators of violence on all sides must be held accountable and swiftly brought to justice.

The latest developments related to the eviction of Palestine refugee families in Sheikh Jarrah and other neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem are also very worrying. I urge Israel to cease demolitions and evictions, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law.

I call on political, religious and community leaders on all sides to stand firmly against violence, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric. If unaddressed, the situation could spiral out of control.”