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UN demands Israeli forces end support of settler attacks in West Bank | News

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UN spokesperson says Israel has a duty to protect Palestinians from settler attacks, which have been on the rise since October 7.

The United Nations human rights office has called on Israel to halt its support of attacks by settlers in the occupied West Bank.

The call on Tuesday came a day after Israeli settlers shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank following the killing of a Palestinian teenager during a military raid.

Separately on Saturday, dozens of settlers stormed the village of al-Mughayyir, northeast of Ramallah, killing one Palestinian and wounding at least 25 others after a 14-year-old Israeli settler went missing.

Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said, “Israel, as the occupying power, must take all measures in its power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety in the occupied West Bank.”

“This obligation includes protecting Palestinians from settler attacks, and ending unlawful use of force against Palestinians by the Israeli Security Forces,” she said.

The spokesperson described the escalating violence as “a matter of grave concern” and called on countries “with influence to do everything in their power” to ease tensions.

The Palestinian Health Ministry has said at least 466 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank since October 7, when Israel launched a war on Gaza following an attack on southern Israel led by the Palestinian group Hamas, which governs Gaza.

Separately on Tuesday, the Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq said in a statement that 112 children have been killed by the Israeli military and another three by settlers since October 7.

Settler attacks have more than doubled from an average of three to eight incidents a day, Al-Haq found. The rate of Palestinians displaced more than doubled, with 280 Palestinians displaced on average every month due to settlement expansion, which is at its highest level since UN monitoring began in 2017.

Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) on Tuesday urged the international community, as well as private actors and businesses, to act to stop the violence against Palestinians.

Meanwhile, the UN announced that it would launch on Wednesday a $2.8bn appeal for donations to help Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, according to a senior agency official.

“Of course, 90 percent of [the budget] is for Gaza,” Andrea De Domenico, head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian territories said, noting that the original plan had been $4bn for 2024, but budgeting was slashed given the “limited ability” of humanitarian aid distribution access.

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