Tuesday, February 28, 2023

UNSC To Hold Emergency Meeting On West Bank Violence

UN Security Council to hold 3rd emergency meet on West Bank violence since new gov’t

The UN Security Council will convene an emergency session on Tuesday, in light of the deadly violence that took place over the weekend in the northern West Bank town of Huwara, a senior diplomat for a country on the panel told The Times of Israel.

It will be the Security Council’s third such urgent meeting since the establishment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new right-religious government two months ago. The previous sessions were called after far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the flashpoint Temple Mount, and after a deadly IDF raid in the Palestinian city of Jenin.

These meetings can be accompanied by a vote on a resolution or the issuing of a joint statement by council members, though such steps are rare. Neither initiative was being readied as of late Monday morning, according to a second UN diplomat familiar with the matter.

The closed-door meeting was requested by the United Arab Emirates — the Arab League’s representative on the Security Council — following a formal appeal submitted by the Palestinian Mission to the United Nations.

The UAE request came hours after a series of attacks in Huwara, a flashpoint Palestinian town intersected by a highway that is also used by Israelis traveling to northern West Bank settlements.

On Sunday morning, a Palestinian gunman opened fire on a vehicle with Israeli license plates that was making its way through the town, killing brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv. In response to the attack, hundreds of settler youth staged an evening rally in the city that descended into a violent rampage. Amid the rioting, 37-year-old Sameh Aqtash was killed and four other Palestinians were badly injured, while dozens of homes and vehicles were torched.

On Monday evening, an Israeli man died after being critically hurt in a terror shooting near the West Bank city of Jericho.

Earlier in the day, the UN’s Mideast envoy Tor Wennesland issued a statement again expressing concern over the deteriorating situation in the West Bank, noting that security forces have a responsibility to “prevent individuals from taking the law into their own hands.”

“There can be no justification for terrorism, nor for arson and acts of revenge against civilians. All perpetrators of violence must be held accountable. Violence, provocations, and incitement must stop immediately and be unequivocally condemned by all,” he said.

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